The castle of Brolio has a Longobard
although today of the ancient original small fortress remain only the
location. Its role in the history began to be remarkable at the beginning
of the 12th century, when the powerful feudal family of the Ricasoli
from Cacchiano took office on it. Still today the castle belongs to their
Its position was always strategical for the control of this area of Chianti,
edge of the Florentine influence at the borders with the Sienese territory.
For this reason, since the 13th up to the mid 16th century, the castle
was often interested in frontier wars. We are in fact in the heart of
the Florentine territory of the 'Chianti League' - formed by the 'terzieri'
(terzieris) of Radda, Castellina
- rich of feudal presence and strongly contended between the two
big cities of Florence and Siena. All the castles of the zone, either
Florentine that Sienese, were aside always strengthened, so much that
two real contrasting defensive lines were created.
|The Baronial Building.
The castle was always in the hands of Florence, to the exception of a
temporary Sienese occupation after the second Aragonese invasion of
the Chianti in 1472. Consequently at this event, from 1484 when
the castle returned Florentine, began a great work of restructuring and
expansion of the fortification to adeguate the walls at the new fire
weapons, so we can consider Brolio one of the first 'Italian bastionated
Its ramparts, in stone and still today in perfect state, have an irregular
pentagonal plan with a primitive structure if comparated with the development
that this new form of fortification had in the following years.
|The bastionated walls.
It is not certain, but it seems that the architect responsible of the
work was Giuliano da Sangallo
, sharpening his fortificatory art
at the service of the Medici
This bastioned walls enclose the rests of the original medieval castle,
above all the keep and the Roman Chapel
, over that a neo-gothic
build to the place of the preexisting one from the Baron Bettino Ricasoli
1809-1880, famous political man of the last century, known also
as the 'Iron Baron'.
The castle rises at the center of boundless vineyards
, from which
since 1141 the Ricasoli distilled their famous wines, place to grow old
in the cellars inside the mighty walls of the fortress. Brolio is private
property but it is visible with the exception of the baronial building.
Is still possible to complete the walk of the ramparts, from which we
can have splendid sights on the Chianti region.