A TOWN TO DISCOVER SLOWLY, THE CITY OF GOOD LIVING IN THE SOUTHERNMOST PART OF CHIANTI
astelnuovo Berardenga has been designated a Slow City, a town devoted to well-being and an authentic style of life; moreover, it has also been called a City of Wine, like most towns in Chianti that offer fine collections of Chianti Classico wines. Strolling through the streets of the town, from which you can spy Siena in the distance, you will come across the Museo del Paesaggio (Landscape Museum), which offers routes through exhibitions dedicated to landscapes of Siena and the rest of Italy, some of which have inspired films and literature. You can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the town in the central Piazza del Castellare, site of the tall tower, and in the characteristic vicolo dell’Arco, which you will recognize by its steep stone stairs topped by an arch. Finally, do not miss Villa Chigi Saracini, 19th century building constructed on the ruins of what was once an ancient castle, next to a large English park and an Italian garden.
In a picturesque secondary street just outside the town can be found the parish church of Santa Maria a Pacina, known by its cylindrical bell tower: Romanesque in origin, it appears today as remodeled by its 18th-century reconstruction.
Venuring into the surrounding area, you can rediscover the origins of Castelnuovo Berardenga, linked to the founding in the 9th century of the Monastery of San Salvatore in Fontebona, today Badia a Monastero, near which you can also find the Castello di Montalto and the town Monastero d’Ombrone.
"From monumental monasteries to towns enlivened by works of contemporary art, the starring scenery is in Slow Cities"
Another beautiful village with wonderfully preserved walls is San Gusmè: the fortifications that surround it were built with the help of Siena at the end of the 14th century.
Between the quiet and the song of crickets stands the majestic Certosa di Pontignano, an ancient monastery in which the heart of Chianti beats strongly, offering refreshment, art, and history among large cloisters and well-tended gardens; not far are the villas of Geggiano and Monaciano, with their lovely gardens and elegant buildings that speak of eras long ago.
Continuing along the road from the villas you come to Villa a Sesta, the site of Dit’unto – the Festival of Eating with Your Hands, also known for its famous Michelin-starred restaurants. At the extreme northwest of the municipal territory, you should visit Vagliagli, a town characteristic of the 13th century, surrounded by splendid vineyards that produce vintage wines.
The territory of Castelnuovo is also famous for the Battle of Monteaperti, mentioned by Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy, fought on September 4, 1260, between the forces of Siena and Florence, the location now marked by an inscribed pillar (il Cippo) in memory of the battle.
Worth noting is Pievasciata, a small Contemporary Art Town that hosts art installations in the streets and its immediate surroundings. Nearby you can visit the Parco Sculture del Chianti (the Sculpture Park of Chianti), a permanent exhibit of contemporary sculpture created by 27 artists from all over the world, wonderfully integrated with the environment.
In the green heart of Tuscany, you can find a territory known all over the world for its beauty. Let’s talk about Chianti, a region rich in vineyards and olive groves, where slow living has become a universal keyword.
Other places to see
Agritourism farms, emblems of sustainability, are the type of accommodation that most distinguishes this land of rural farmhouses scattered throughout the silence of the countryside. The castles, villas, and historic homes are immersed in a noble atmosphere that evokes times gone by. Awakening in Chianti is a unique experience.