The Romantic Landscape of Chianti
What should you know about Castelnuovo?
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. Designated as a Città Slow, the city offers a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere highlighting an authentic and genuine Tuscan style of living. It is also designated a Citta del Vino (the City of Wine) a denomination that unites many of the prominent Chianti cities preserving the techniques and safety of wine production.
What’s there to see in Castelnuovo Berardenga
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.
why base yourself here...
» Close to Siena
» Perfect area for an agriturismo experience
» Easy day trips to Arezzo, Montepulciano and the Chianti region
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 is an interesting a visit, with its large documentation, both written and illustrated and pictured, of the Sienese landscape and its history. In addition, it houses an archaeological section composed of several findings from the area.
Pieve a Pacina is only a short distance from the town center and proves to be perhaps one of the oldest churches in the area most certainly in existence before the year 714 when a storey of subterfuge and murder are passed down through the church annals. Though found in the territory of Siena it is part of the Arezzo church property.
The picturesque town located less than 5 km from the city center of Castelnuovo. A true gem, seemingly untouched by time perched on a hill that provides fantastic panoramic views. Stop for photos, for a relaxing stroll or for a few drinks and a delicious plate of traditional recipes.
Certosa of Pontignano
The layout of the monastery is typical of Carthusian monasteries, divided into three areas: a part for the monks, one for the housing of converts and a third area for the church and refectory. This convent has passed from the Carthusians, to the Camaldolesi where it was taken away during the Napoleonic invasion and final was bought by the University of Siena, which converted it into student housing. An interesting point of interest during the two world wars: Pontignano became a refuge for Jews and political dissidents.
Villa di Geggiano and its garden (Villa Bianchi Bandinelli)
the original structure is from 1500’s however around 1768, it was transformed into the prestigious villa that we see now with three floors, a central tower that opens to a 4th floor and an elegant entrance. This is all surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Villa di Monaciano
The facade of Villa di Monaciano was completely restructured in the late 1800’s including the gardens and facade. However, there are several internal areas that were spared work and still represent their true characteristics of the 1600’s. The lovely garden is divided into two distinct areas, one of which accents a play of water and a flower garden.
How to Reach Castelnuovo
Travelling by car from Siena it will take approximately 30 minutes of a very panoramic (and two lane) highway (SS73) take exit Castelnuovo Berardenga and follow the indications. If you choose to visit Castelnuovo using public transport you will take bus number 134 which will also take you to San Gusmè or 107 (Castelnuovo actually appears twice on the list - so be careful when you look for the times.
If you are coming from Florence you can either take the Florence Siena highway (no tolls) or the Autostrada del Sole (tolls road exit Terranuova Bracciolini follow SP 540) to catch the SS 73 and then exit as above at Castelnuovo. If you are relying on public transport - you need to first go to Siena and then take the bus as described above.