Chiocciola Castle

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The castle, today center of an agricultural firm. The keep, on the right the round tower whit an internal 'helical staircase' from which the castle takes the name. (chiocciola=snail)

The castle can be reached following the speedway Siena-Florence up to the exit 'Monteriggioni', from here crossing the street Cassia (ss2) up to the junction for Sovicille. Hardly turned the first road to the right, there are no indications, and after about 2 km. you'll find on the right the agricultural firm of the "Chiocciola".

The Chiocciola Castle was one of the many medieval fortresses that rose, and in large part still rise, in the district of Monteriggioni, outpost of the Senese power. The presence of a great deal of castles in the area was due to two fundamental factors: the proximity with the Francigena Road  and therefore with its various ramifications and principally with the border-line on the territories of the hostile Florence, for a long time theater of battles and other military operations.

The site where today the complex rises was inhabited from the times of the paleolithic era, still today in the undergrounds of the castle a cavern of this period lies in good state of maintenance. The origin of the real fortification seems to come from an Etruscan settlement, but the history collocate its birth in the Middle Age as fortress of the vassals of the Lord of the near town of Staggia. The Chiocciola climbed to the warlike chronicles especially in the 16th century and precisely during the war between Siena and Florence, 1553-1555. For centuries the castle was under the dominion of the feudal family of the Piccolomini d'Aragona first and of the counts Brancadori then.

The castle is today still well preserved, belonging to a big agricultural estate of the Chianti Putto wines, and it consists of two principal parts: an embattled keep and a high cylindrical tower, both embellished by machicoulis in bricks. The name of the small fortress derives from this tower that contains a beautiful helical staircase 'with the form of a Snail (chiocciola)'. The access at the tower still preserves the original gate in beaten iron of the 14th century. Around these well preserved rests of the medieval castle have risen other buildings in the following centuries. The castle is a private residence and center of a farm, visitable only from the outside.

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