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Il territorio: Dagli etruschi ad oggi
From the heart of Tuscany, an ancient land stretches out over the rolling hills - the area known as Chianti - where, before the arrival of the Romans, the Etruscans had ruled without challenge.
This was a hard-working and happy populace as can be understood from the patterns and drawings on the pottery found scattered around the area and, above all, on the verdant rise just outside of Castellina in Chianti which is the Etruscan cemetery of Montecalvario. From the covered vaulted passage way of Via delle Volte, in Castellina, one can make out the perimeter ("pomerio") which in the ancient Latin cities was the consecrated ring of land which surrounded the city, partly within and partly outside of the perimeter walls.
In 1220 Castellina came under the control of the nearby castle of Trebbio. After the XIII century Castellina became part of the Chianti League. Because it is strategically situated on the road that connects Siena to Florence it had an important military role at the service of Florence.
In 1384 the Lega del Chianti adopted a new statute. In 1390 Florence occupied the nearby castle of Monteriggioni, but immediately after Siena regained control. In the middle of 1400 Alfonso of Aragona invaded Italy, but Castellina resisted the siege for 44 days (the military commanders were Giuliano da Sangallo from Florence and Simone Martini from Siena).
In 1513 Giovanni de’ Medici (Lorenzo il Magnifico’s son), better known as pope Leone X, chose to live in this area. Today we can see signs of that in a coat of arms on front door of Palazzo Bianciardi in the centre of Castellina.
In 1774 the Granduca Pietro Leopoldo reduced the Chianti League to only Castellina, Radda and Gaiole. After the unification of Italy the Chianti region became part of Siena, thereby ceasing to be controlled by Florence. Today in the Chianti region a visitor may still see many important castles (Brolio, Meleto, Verrazzano, Uzzano, Monteluco, Rencine, Castagnoli, San Polo in Rosso, Monteriggioni, etc...); historical villas (Il Bacio, Vignamaggio, Calcinaia, Montefiridolfi, Selvanella, Castelvecchi, Vistarenni, Casalecchi, etc…); striking churches on hilltops (Passignano, Coltibuono, Montescalari, S.Maria Novella, etc…); little rural villages ( Volpaia, Montefioralle, Lamole, S.Leonino, S.Gusmè), and bigger villages that once were strongholds (Gaiole, Radda, Castellina, Panzano and Greve, all situated in Chianti).
Hotel Villa Casalecchi **** - IL POSTO GIUSTO SRL - Loc. Casalecchi - I - 53011 Castellina in Chianti - Siena - Tuscany
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