Some other important sights in and near Castelnuovo
Torre Civica o dell'orologio
The Civic Tower or Clock Tower was originally part of Castelnuovo's defense works. In 1526, the "new" castle was fortified and seven towers were built. Only one of them remains, the current Civic Tower. The first clock was placed there in 1763. From the top of the restored tower you can enjoy a magnificent view ranging from the Crete Senesi to Chianti.
Curina: Cappella di San Liberato
The Chapel of San Liberato, even though small, is sometimes called the "Sistine Chapel of Chianti". It dates back to around the mid-16 C and was constructed for the Cinughi dei Pazzi family whose coat of arms is visible on the façade and who owned vast amounts of land in this area. It is a modest construction with a rectangular layout and a bell-shaped roof. Inside there is a vast fresco painted by Arcangelo Salimbeni of Sienna in 1573 and covering the vault and the walls of the presbytery. In the vault, there is a representation of the Ascension and the panels that run along the strip beneath and continue onto the four walls and underneath the arch represent episodes of the Life and Passion of Christ, separated by Latin motto’s.
Montegiachi Fortress is located on an embankment at the top of a hill that dominates the surrounding valley. It was built for Antonio Maria of the Checco Cinughi family, and is one of several properties belonging to the Conti Cinughi in Castelnuovo territory. It was definitely built before 1522, when Antonio Maria, in his will, left the Villa to his sons Valerio and Alessandro. In 1827, some parts of the building were restored.
Museo di Zave
Mario Fanetti had a strong interest in old-style country life and as a result opened his "country life" museum in 2000, transforming farm buildings of Podere Le Barbocce into the "Zave Museum", to house his ethnographic collection. Zave is the nickname for Zaverio Nepi, known for having provided and led several times the oxen for the "carroccio" of the historical procession at the Palio in Siena. He was the sharecropper who lived in Barbocce Farmhouse, heading it for about 70 years. He passed away few years ago, and many of the personal belongings and rural tools exhibited were of his property. Mr Fanetti often guides visitors around his collection.
Scopeto was mentioned in a document of 1079. Later, the Sozzini family transformed the fortified settlement into a villa. During the 15 C, Scopeto became an important centre for theological meetings of reform-minded clerics. Inside the little village, there are the villa, a tower with a shoe-like basement dating back to 1543, and the Chapel of San Bartolomeo.
Montaperti as a place name is first documented from 1023, when it was a castle beloning to the Berardenghi family. The popularity of its name is linked to the famous battle fought between the Siennese and Florentines on the plain between Arbia and Malena torrents, mentioned by Dante in his Divine Comedy(Inferno Canto X, 85). A memorial pyramid has been placed in the hill that dominates the plain to commemorate the Battle of Montaperti .
Oratorio di Sant’Ansano a Dofana
In the locality of Dofana, according to tradition, at the beginning of the fourth century Saint Ansano was recognized as martyr, evangelist and patron of Siena. A church was constructed on the place of the martyr, where the body of the saint was held until 1108, when it was transferred to the cathedral of Siena. The most antique record of the "ecclesia sancti Ansani" dates back to 650. An oratory of S. Ansano is noted in the donations made by count Winigis to the Berardenga abbey in the act of its' foundation, in 867. In 1504, the chapel was almost in ruins and in 1507-08 the Bishop of Arezzo gave permission to restore it, the motive for which some scholars from the 800's had promoted the name of Baldassarre Peruzzi. In 1575, it seems that the building was regularly in order. The last restorations of the Oratory of Saint Ansano were carried out in 1931 and in 1980. The chapel, situated a couple of hundred metres from the church dedicated to the same saint, shows an octagonal layout, extended on the opposite side of the entrance with a rectangular collection box. An epigraph situated by the collection box remembers the restorations, of the end of the century, of the building and of the genius of Pietro Lorenzetti, now conserved in the art gallery of Siena.
Chiesa di Sant’Ansano a Dofana
References to the Church of Sant'Ansano in Dofana are found in documents dated 1139, concerning a list of places which were quarrelled by Siena and Arezzo bishops having a cantury-old contest for some churches possession. The building has been restored in 1190 and re-built (or re-restored) in 1380. Moreover in 1529 it has been re-built again. The "new" three aisles church contains in the left aisle altar Sant'Ansano statue in a niche and, beneath, a shrine with the Saint's relics.
Badia Monastero was built to remind the 15th February 867 deed, when Count Winigis and his wife Richilda founded the women monastery of Santi Salvatore e Alessandro di Fontebuona a Campi. Later named San Salvatore della Berardenga. The monastery probably declined and was re-founded in 1003; this time it was given to a Benedictine male community. For the first time in 1028, it is mentioned as part of Camaldoli congregation. In XIV century the Abbey started to decline. Since early 1800 it is not a monastery anymore. Monastery and connected outhouses are currently used as villa and farmhouse. At the North-Western corner of the complex there is a cylindrical tower, re-built over the original one in Neo-gothic style. On the villa Eastern side there is a wooden bridge that leads to the garden. On the villa left side stands a Romanic imposing bell tower in Lombard style with a squared plan. At the opposite side there is the S. Salvatore Church, which is mentioned since monastery foundation.
Montegiachi Fort-building is located on an embankment over the top of the hill, that dominates the surrounding valley. It was built here on behalf of Antonio Maria of Checco Cinughi, ances one of the Cinghi Counts' several properties in Castelnuovo territory. It has certainly been built before 1522, when Antonio Maria, in his will, left the Villa to his sons Valerio and Alessandro. In 1827, after a careful survey on the villa and outhouses, some parts of the building have been restored.
Chianti Sculpture Park
Visitors of Chianti Sculptures Park live a unique experience. In an uncontaminated holm and oak wood, located in the heart of Sienese Chianti, several artists from the fi ve continents, tested their creativity and style out, making huge contemporary art sculptures. Every single sculpture has been proposed by artists after visiting the woods. In this way the union among operas, trees, sounds, colours, light and every element of the woods, is complete. Walking in the nature, admiring fascinating works, is very pleasant.
The first mention of Dievole dates back to 1090 and is about the rent of some sant’Eugenio a Pulisciano monastery properties. Around the half of XIII century it was a Sienese surrounding countryside village. At the end of the XVII century there is a mention about a Malavolti family’s farm, who since early XIV owned possessions around Dievole. In 1825 the settlement is mentioned as set up with a farmhouse and a court, a garden, an oil-press, a granary, a church and further more. In the central part of the place there is a villa, which took the current aspect after a big restoration occurred in XIX century on pre-existent XVI century structures.
Canonica a Cerreto
According to information reported by Merletti, the church of Saints Peter and Paul in Canonica a Cerreto was probably founded in 1093 by a member of the Antolini family. In a lien granted by Urbano III in 1186 the “rectory” in Cerreto was the property of the canons of the cathedral in Siena. In the Lists of Tenths of the late thirteenth century and early fourteenth century it still appears as a rectory; the premises of a religious community headed by a prior. From the late thirteenth century and the early fourteenth century onwards the rectory appears under the jurisdiction of the Cerretani, the lords of the castle with the same name, and the surrounding area. In 1598 it was declared a forane vicariate by the archbishop of Siena. In 1794 the church was reconsecrated following substantial restoration and modernization. On the left hand side stands a Romanesque bell-tower which is square in plan. During a pastoral visit in 1575, the canonical house appeared to be in good condition. At the end of the eighteenth century the rectory was also renovated, together with the church. The oldest structures in view, which probably date back to the late Middle Ages, are situated in the north easterly prospect.
The first mention of the locality of Selvole is in 1070 but the fi rst explicit signs of the presence of a castle go back to 1127 and 1158. It was the main site for a local noble family, the Lambardi, whose representatives became part of the dominant class in the Siena Council in the first half of the twelfth century. In 1230, it was assailed and destroyed by the Florentine's and in 1262 the council established that the taxes paid by the men in that community should be used to reconstruct the castle. In the following ten years it seems that the frustrating role of settlement was always less effective because in the Table of the Possessions of 1317-18, the castle is listed in the possessions of the Malavolti family, as an open village. It belonged to the same family, the Malavolti up until the 1960's. The church San Martino is praised by the mayor of Poggibonsi in 1203. The religious patronage of the Malavolti family is documented up until the fourteenth century. For a certain period, it was united to that of Cerreto, successively returned under the parish church Asciata. The interior, completely plastered, presents some tombstones of the Malavolti family. The far wall is painted with a fresco's that present a scene of the life of Saint Martino, dated 1891.
The Medieval fortified city of Cetamura has been a VI B.C. Etruscan settlement, but its first mention dates back to 1071. Since 1140 it was the seat of a castle and a first primitive commune organisation is mentioned in 1173-74. Around the half of XIII century it was a castrensian commune of Siena’s surrounding countryside. It results among Berardenga vicarage communities in XIV century. The castle, due to its strategic position at the borderline, had a relevant defensive role until the half of XVI century. There are only few traces of the castle, included in a rural complex. The most signifi cant evidence of Middle Age is the ruined of portal at the entrance of the settlement.
In the medieval settlement of San Felice, there was a site of a parish church documented up until the beginning of the eighth century and a community of the county of Siena certifi ed around the half of year 200. In 1676, it was a small community of the mayor of Castelnuovo including seven farms. In the land register of 1825, it seems that a large part already formed the nucleus of buildings actually included between the villa, characterised by fl oor plans similar to the existent ones, and the parish church. The parish church of San Felice in Pincis is recorded for the first time in 714. In the following centuries, up until 800, it seems that the parish church is patronage of the Cerretani family. The last radical restoration was carried out in the first half of 900. Inside, the vaults have been decorated with a fresco's by Luigi Papi with the Four Evangelists and medieval inspired motives.
Villa a Sesta
Villa a Sesta is a typical and picturesque Chianti village with a prevalent rural economy, located on the route to Brolio. Until the middle of IX century it was a Berardenga Counts possession. In 1882 its incomes were given to S.Salvatore in Campi Abbey, which is Berardenga's. The Church of S. Mary in Villa a Sesta is mentioned since VIII century as dependent on Pieve of San Felice. The current building anyway came out from a complete re-building and following transformations date back to XIX century. On the side-altars, inside the respective chapels, there are the Jacopo della Quercia Madonna con bambino wood statue and a Santa Caterina painting, which dates back to XVIII century.
Villa of Catignano
The villa of Catignano was built supposedly due to the initiative of Lodovico Sergardi, noted humanitarian known also by the pseudonym Quinti Settano (1660 - 1726). The villa has a rectangular layout, which develops, on three continuous levels, with a small extension that suggests an L shape. With regards to the interior, note the entrance hall on the ground fl oor, characterised by three stone columns that support an entablature with the coat of arms of the Sergardi family. On the first fl oor are rooms with painted architectural features, decorated attics and beam supports in wood and plaster. The Italian style garden, accessed by two fl ights of steps, is divided into three sections: the first is characterized by a series of ornate fl owerbeds and spherical box hedges, the second is made up of a vegetable garden and apple orchard and the third presents a maze formed by box hedges. The chapel of Santa Croce is dated 1697. Rich decorative props characterize the internal walls. On the far wall and altar is the sculptured representation of the story of the True Cross.