Exploring more castles of Chianti
– Castello di San Sano
This castle of Chianti take its name from the martyr Ansano and its origins date back to the 13th century when this fortified settlement was probably used as a stronghold during the conflict between Siena and Florence as their battles for territory continued. As well as other hamlets, the Castello di San Sano was eventually converted into a mansion. Today San Sano castle is surrounded by approximately 85 acres of sun-drenched vineyards and is certainly a recognised centre of excellence for Chianti wine.
– Castello di Monteluco di Lecchi
Going from Gaiole in Chianti towards Siena, and approximately 600 meters above sea level, is the Castle of Monteluco, overlooking and dominating the Masellone valley. This castle of Chianti was first recorded in a document in 1175, when Florence won it from Siena. The Castello di Monteluco’s position was indeed strategic and Siena attempted to win it back during the numerous battles through history. Nowadays, this Chianti castle, with its original charming structure, consists of private dwellings and boasts a magnificent tower and stronghold.
– Castello di San Polo in Rosso
Acres and acres of vineyards, hills and forest surround the Castello di San Polo in Rosso. During the contest for supremacy in the region between Florence and Siena, this castle of Chianti was specifically sought after because of its strategic location. The Castello di San Polo in Rosso is mentioned for the first time in the 8th century. At the beginning, it was a church, which was eventually converted into a fortress in 1200 because it was right on the border of the areas controlled by Florence and Siena. The remains of the church are still visible today. At the time, the bell tower was transformed into a watch tower commanding a good view to observe the surrounding area and it was a possession of the Ricasoli family. This castle of Chianti has also been famous for the wine produced by the grapes of the adjacent vineyards. Cetinaia wine as well as Chianti Classico were pressed in the Castello up until some time ago. Nowadays the winery is run by the owners of a multinational German company.
– Le Selve
This castle of Chianti is located within the area of Gaiole in Chianti and is nestled on top of a hill overlooking the Filicaie valley. This fortified settlement boasts stone buildings and the beautiful San Martino church that dates back to 13th century.
Not far from San Sano is Campi castle, first mentioned during the 11th century. This castle of Chianti was destroyed during the numerous battles between Siena and Florence and then rebuilt. However, only a few ruins are left standing these days with the exception of a small stone “torre mozza” (i.e. truncated tower). Interestingly enough, materials from this original settlement were used to build the nearby church in later times.
This hamlet can be reached when driving from Radda in Chianti towards San Sano and San Giusto in Salcio. The first record of this castle of Chianti is at the end of 11th century. Unfortunately, not much of the castle remains today – due to the numerous battles fought between Florence and Siena. This said, a picturesque stone tower emerges from a few handful of dwellings. This beautiful tower features arched windows and an arched door too. Some of those few but lucky enough to live in Galenda castle make the most of the surrounding area and produce their own Chianti Classico wine, as well as extra-virgin olive oil. The local farmers also cultivate the soil and produce their own wheat.
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