“Castello di Brolio”, Brolio’s Castle is located near Gaiole in Chianti, a small town twenty miles north of Siena. A Chianti villa rental will give you easy, convenient access to this historic monument. The castle was originally Lombard, but little or nothing now remains of its original appearance. From the twelfth century it was home of the Ricasoli family who continue to be the owners to this day. The Ricasoli, one of the oldest Florentine families, immediately engaged in the strengthening and fortifying the castle. The reason for this was the castles location on the border between the territories of Siena and Florence and therefore in the middle of a recurrent struggle between the two sides. Over the centuries the castle became the victim of numerous attacks by the Sienese who for short periods also managed to conquer it.
The recent history of the castle is closely linked to that of the Italian political Bettino Ricasoli, who was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy and also the mayor of Florence. He was nicknamed "Iron Baron" for his ruthless character. In 1835, against many people’s wishes, he entrusted the architect Peter Marchetti to reconstruct the nineteenth-century castle in neo-Gothic style. Baron Ricasoli was a noted scholar of viticulture, the study of and the production of grapes. This is the explanation for why there was an expansion and exploitation of the many surrounding vineyards and the invention of the formula for Chianti Classico, which is virtually unchanged even today.
There is no coincidence that even today the Ricasoli are among the main producers of the great Tuscan wines.
Even after his death, the Baron Ricasoli has continued to be talked about. According to many people it is not difficult to catch a glimpse of his phantom on horseback attempting to walk the walls of the castle followed by a pack of hunting dogs.
But there's more....If you venture to the Baron’s bedroom early in the morning, it is not uncommon to find discarded smoked cigars and empty glasses of wine. Maybe this does not sound too abnormal, yet every time it happens nobody claims to have bought wine or cigars the night before...
It’s worth taking a day out from your Chianti villa rental to explore this impressive castle, which overlooks the southern Chianti Classico countryside. However, it’s important to note that public transportation does not go to the castle outside of the academic school year, so make alternative arrangements before leaving your Chianti villa rental.