Castelnuovo Berardenga

Castelnuovo Berardenga is a charming town dating from 1366 and located at the southern tip of the Chianti Classico wine zone, about 20 km from Sienna. It provides an interesting side detour from the Via Chiantigiana, the motoring route from Florence to Sienna. The famous Battle of Montaperti during which the Siennese inflicted a humiliating defeat upon Florence was fought nearby on 4 September, 1260.

Villa Chigi Saracini

Villa Chigi Saracini

The Vicolo dell’Arco is a famous covered lane in the old town of Castelnuovo Berardenga , consisting of steep stone stairs leading downwards from a tympanum arch decorated with a beautiful bas-relief. Nearby is the Church of San Giusto and Clemente, built during the 19 C and housing a Renaissance ‘Madonna with Child’ by a Siennese artist. The Church of the Madonna del Patrocinio, also nearby, houses a 14 C painted and glazed terracotta ‘Madonna’ that was found in the ruins of the castle that existed where the Vicolo dell’Arco is today.

Villa Chigi Saracini was built in the 19 C and is surrounded by a beautiful Italian Renaissance garden and a ‘giardino all’inglese‘. The villa was commissioned by the Count Guido Saracini, founder of the famous Chigiana Musical Academy in Sienna.

While the town of Castelnuovo Berardenga itself is well worth strolling around, the main interest of the area are the beautiful surroundings with their castles and fortresses, villas and churches. Among them are the village of San Gusmè, the Certosa of Pontignano, the Castle of Montalto and Villa Acerno.

The municipality of Castelnuovo Berardenga  runs a programme of tours known as “Domenica in Chianti” on most Sundays. These inexpensive excursions visit places that are otherwise not open to the public and where the owners describe their property or activity. If you’re staying near Castelnuovo Berardenga, they’re definitely worthwhile.

Click here for more about Castelnuovo Berardenga.

Anna Maria Baldini

About Anna Maria Baldini

Anna Maria is a frequent contributor to web content on life in Tuscany. She researches all aspects of Tuscan life, with emphasis on history, art, architecture and the culture of the people of this beautiful region of Italy.

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