Abbadia d'Ombrone

Abbazia di Vallombrosa

Villa Arceno

Bardini Garden in Florence

Bernard Berenson

Boboli's Gardens

Il parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo

Villa Bottini

Castello di Brolio

Villa Cahen

Villa della Capponcina

Villa Capponi

Villa Medici at Careggi

Villa di Catignano

Cecil Ross Pinsent

Castello di Celsa

Villa Certano Baldassarrini

Certosa di Pontignano

Villa di Cetinale

Villa Chigi Saracini

Villa Farnese (Caprarola)

Gardens in Fiesole

Villa Gamberaia

Villa Garzoni in Collodi

Villa di Geggiano

Villa Grabau

Villa Guicciardini Corsi Salviati

Horti Leonini di San Quirico

Villa I Collazzi, Firenze

Iris Origo

L'Orto de'Pecci (Siena)


Villa I Tatti

Villa Medicea La Ferdinanda

Villa La Foce

Villa La Gallina in Arcetri

Villa Lante

Villa La Petraia

Villa La Pietra

Villa La Suverana in Casole d'Elsa

The Medici Villa at Careggi

Villa Medici in Fiesole, Firenze

Garden of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Firenze

Villa Medicea at Poggio a Caiano

Medici Villas in Tuscany

Villa di Monaciano

Giardino degli Orti Oricellari | Firenze

Orto Botanico, Siena

Villa Orlandini in Poggio Torselli

Il Palazzone

Villa Palmieri and Villa Schifanoiai

Villa Peyron al Bosco di Fontelucente

Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza

Villa di Pratolino

Villa Reale di Marlia

Villa San Donato in Colle (Bagno a Ripoli)

Villa Santini Torrigiani

Villa di Vicobello

Villa Vistarenni

Il Vittoriale degli Italiani


 
Gardens in Tuscany
             
 
Castello di Brolio
album Surroundings
       
   

Castello di Brolio

   
   
Majestic and huge, the Brolio Castle evolves over 1200 hectares of green vineyards, refreshing olive groves and dark woody forests of oak. Picturesque and perfect in its setting, the countryside unravels its beautiful farmhouses that punctuate the landscape with Siena seen in the hazy horizon. This beautiful scenery is reflected in a painting by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the 1300s which is placed at the Town Hall of Siena. Walk into the interior of the castle and explore its interesting features. Come and stand in an atmosphere of solemnity at the small but appealing family chapel.

The castle of Brolio comprises of strong round towers and heavy fortifications to accommodate the new fire weapons of those days. The legend has it that the 'iron baron's' ghost in black still roams ceaselessly on a white horse at night. The name of the Brolio Castle is derived from the Longobardo term for an enclosed green space or orchard, 'Brolo'. With a watch tower, the fortress was transformed into a manor built in the romantic English style. Introduced by the Baron Bettino Ricasoli in 1835, the 'Gothic revival' was animated with brick that was so different from any other castle of that time. This ancient fortress was structured with Tudor windows and crenallated turrets built with a new type of stone called 'mattone' and pietra serena. Brolio Castle is a standing example of the various periods that evolved over the ages. The base of the castle reflects the early medieval structure and its walls are reminiscent of the Renaissance architecture and style.

The impressive Castello di Brolio dominates the southern Chianti Classico countryside and has done so for over ten centuries. Located on top of an isolated hill a few kilometers from Gaiole in Chianti, the castle has Lombardic origins and has been property of the Ricasoli family since 1141.

Even though it is closer to Siena, which can be seen in the distance and is just 20 km away, the castle has always been under the influence of Florence and used as one of its strategical outposts. Because of this, the castle was besieged and destroyed many times over the centuries. Every time it has been reconstructed following the style of the current age. It suffered its last attack during World War II, as can be noticed by the holes left by shrapnel all over facade.

The castle we see today is partly the new-Gothic reconstruction ordered by Bettino Ricasoli in the 1800s. The Renaissance gardens with typical geometric shaped bushes and the English woods are stunning and from here you can admire a breathtaking view over the Chianti region. On the horizon, during clear, sunny days, you can clearly see Siena.

Inside the castle you can visit the Chapel of San Jacopo and the crypt with the family tombs and a small museum housing the Ricasoli collection. The collection displays several valuable family weapons, as well as documents and personal belongings of Bettino Ricasoli, together with part of his personal fossil and mineral collection.

You can visit the garden and the small museum in Castello di Brolio, the rest of the castle is still home to the current Ricasoli baron and his family. The "classic" tour is a free visit to the gardens around the castle. The "historical" tour includes the gardens and a guided tour to the museum, while the "research and experimentation" tour is upon reservation and includes the guided tour to the wine cellars and experimental vineyards of the estate.


Bettino Ricasoli, nicknamed the Iron Baron for his strong resolve and conviction of his ideals, was one of the most important politicians in the 19th century and promoter of Italian union, as well as major of Florence.

His name is strongly related to Brolio and Chianti wine. He was the first to create the recipe for what became the wine for the region, the great red Chianti wine. He determined the mix of three different grape varietals in different quantities; his recipe was used up until 1967 to produce Chianti Classico DOC. Bettino Ricasoli was an essential player and pioneer in developing the Italian wine making sector.

   
   

 

Spectacular panoramic scenery in Podere Santa Pia, with views that stretch all the way to the Mediterranean sea and the islands of Montecristo and Corsica

 

 
   

Holiday Accommodation Tuscany

Villa is Tuscany


The ultimate Italy Villa Rental. Podere Santa Pia, a formal cloister in the Tuscan Maremma with a view made in heaven is the perfect holiday resort for relaxing and enjoying the splendor of the Maremma hills of southern Tuscany.


Artist and writer's residency | Holiday houses in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia

 

 
Wine regions
Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, view from the garden on the valley below

 

 

       

The castle of Brolio is situated in the center of the area of Chianti that belongs to the province of Siena. It can be reached easily from Siena following the indications for Castelnuovo Berardenga or from the exit 'A1 Valdarno' following the statal road (SS) 408.



Architect Carlo Fontana, disciple of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, built the impressive Villa Cetinale between 1676 and 1678 by order of Cardinal Flavio Chigi, who wanted to celebrate the ascension of Fabio Chigi to the papal throne with the name of Alexander VII. The magnificent villa, which the Chigi family always used only as a private residence and not as a place where to entertain guests, is a great example of baroque architecture. Architect Fontana may have designed also the garden spreading out behind the building, which was once decorated with plenty of plays of water, fountains and false ruins.
In 1687 Giuseppe Mazzuoli sculptured the enormous statue representing Hercules situated in the lower part of the garden.
The so-called "parco della Tebaide" (Thebaid park) was realised between 1698 and 1705. The word Thebaid was used to indicated the Egyptian desert, where the 3rd-century hermits led an ascetic existence. It is rumoured that Flavio Chigi ordered this part of the wood surrounding Villa Cetinale be decorated with statues representing saints and hermits and commissioned the construction of the chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows as a means to atone for his sins, especially the murder of a love rival.
Two hundred steps - the so-called "Scala Santa" (Saint Staircase) - lead to the "Romitorio", a building added in 1716, where twelve friars live for a long time.

Villa di Monaciano
in Castelnuovo Berardenga
According to historical documents, the villa di Monaciano has been existing since the 18th century, but actually the building we can admire today is the result of a transformation realised between 1870 and 1885. Alessandro Pucci Sansedoni, a nobleman of Sienese origins living in Florence, who owned the villa at that time, wanted to realise a Romantic park similar to those that were coming into fashion in the Tuscan capital city thanks to architect Giuseppe Poggi and to the Pucci family. It is not by accident that the building departs from the typical Sienese style to be close to the Florentine architecture of the late 19th century. The wide park surrounding the villa is decorated with fountains and plays of water and is divided into a flower and a Romantic garden, the latter being rich in long-stemmed trees, such as holm-oaks, oaks and horse chestnuts, and featuring also a cedar of the Lebanon.
Apart from an aviary and a lemon-house, in the garden of the villa there is also an uncommon warm greenhouse dating back at least to 1881. In fact, Alessandro Pucci Sansedoni was a passionate botanist as well as a meritorious member of the Regia Società Toscana di Orticoltura (the royal Tuscan society of horticulture). Collections of ferns, orchids, begonias and anthuriums are still cultivated in the said greenhouse.





The castle of San Giovanni d'Asso