The city of Castelnuovo Berardenga is located in the southern area of Chianti Classico less than 20 km from Siena. Its municipality is bordered by the rivers Ombrone and Arbia. The name Berardenga comes from the Count Berardo, of Frank origins that lived in what later was the site of the town in the second half of the 10th century.
Castelnuovo actually was built in 1366 as the "new castle" by Siena because of its strategical position on the border of the Sienese land. It was under the control of Siena until 1555, when Siena was defeated by the Medici's Grand Duchy. From the original defensive system we can still see the high tower in Piazza Petrilli, turned into the city's clock tower in 1755.
In the historical center is the impressive Vicolo dell'Arco, characterized by steep stone stairs that have a tympanum arch decorated with a beautiful bas-relief. Nearby is the Church of San Giusto and Clemente, built during the 19th century and which displays a Madonna with Child by a Sienese artist from the Renaissance.
Not too far from here is the Church of the Madonna del Patrocinio which displays a venerated Madonna in painted and glazed terracotta from the 14th century which was found in the ruins of the castle where the Vicolo dell'Arco is today. Another attraction nearby is the Villa Chigi Saracini, built in the 19th century and surrounded by a beautiful Italian Renaissance garden and an English landscaped park. The villa was commissioned by the Count Guido Saracini, founder of the famous Chigiana Musical Academy in Siena.
The Landscape Museum also deserves a visit, with its large documentation, both written and illustrated and pictured, of the Sienese landscape and its history. In addition, it houses an archeological section composed of several findings from the area.
Probably what turns Castelnuovo di Berardengo into a great destination in Chianti, in addition to Chianti wine and beautiful landscapes, are its beautiful surroundings full of castles and fortresses, villas and churches. Some of the most famous are the delightful village of San Gusmè, the Certosa of Pontignano, the Castle of Montalto and Villa Acerno, just to name a few.