villages and castles
“A land rich in history, natural and
architectural treasures, with characteristic and
unmistakable landscapes,the cradle
of the Renaissance, full of cities of art and culture:”
A land rich in history, natural and architectural treasures, with characteristic and unmistakable landscapes, the cradle of the Renaissance, full of cities of art and culture: museums, basilicas and cathedrals, Etruscan and Roman remains. But whoever crosses Tuscany will also not be able to escape the deep bond of this area with another precise historical period. Villages, castles, fortresses, fortresses, fortified cities, towers, churches, abbeys, monasteries, farmhouses follow one another in a fantastic itinerary, making traces of a medieval past still visible today.
Towards the end of the ninth century, much of Western Europe was affected by a phenomenon that historians define castle, or the multiplication of castles and forts, which lasted until the twelfth century, giving way to a process that would have brought considerable changes in the political and economic order of the world of the time.
The sovereigns of the kingdoms and principalities born from the collapse of the Carolingian formation often proved unable to face the invasions of the Hungarians, Normans and Saracens; therefore the local lords, both lay and ecclesiastical, began to erect castles to protect their possessions and to organize an independent defense.
The castle was not only a noble residence, on the contrary it became over time the fulcrum of medieval life; around them arose real fortified villages, able to accommodate within their walls groups of families who found shelter, lending in exchange labor in the land of the owner. The castles, therefore, were transformed into real villages, with their fortifications, the residence of the lord, the homes of the peasants and everything necessary for the life of a community.
This phenomenon, of great historical significance, significantly changed the economy of the time, giving rise to the birth of a new great social cycle, following the fall of the Roman Empire, which sees its culmination in the current socio-political organization of the Western world.
In Tuscany we still retain a continuous presence of precious testimonies of that past, to be experienced and from where to enjoy breathtaking views. You will feel captured by this beauty, you will tire your eyes to admire them.
San Gimignano, Pienza, Cortona, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Monteriggioni, Certaldo, certainly do not need additional presentations, even if Chianti is probably the most densely packed area of forts, villages and castles, as it has always been a borderland. long disputed between Florence and Siena.
Traveling along the Strada dei Castelli del Chianti from Greve, passing from Castellina, up to Radda, each village has a medieval story to tell. Do not miss a visit to Montefioralle and Panzano, as well as a stop certainly deserves the Castle of Volpaia. Near Gaiole stands the majestic castle of Brolio, but also those of Cacchiano di Meleto and Spaltenna, without neglecting the tiny village of Vertine.
Not far away there are delightful villages such as San Felice, Villa a Sesta, San Gusmè. Going down the Via Francigena and arriving in Val d’Orcia, do not miss Bagno Vignoni, Monticchiello and Castiglione D’Orcia, located near San Quirico D’Orcia.
In the heart of the clayey countryside of the Crete Senesi, a suggestive stop is Buonconvento, together with San Giovanni D’asso, the capital of truffles. Not far away, the rare beauty of Cetona, one of the villages of Etruscan origin in the Valdichiana, and San Casciano dei Bagni, with its thermal baths, castle and towers.
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