Battifolle Castle

How to reach

The castle of Battifolle rises on a hill over the small village with the same name, a few hundreds meters from the exit ' Arezzo' of the motorway A1 Florence-Rome. You must enter the village and from the main square you have to follow the road that leads at the top of the hill (on your left). There are no indications, to reach the castle after about 500 meters take the first country road you'll find on your left.


In the Middle Ages, the castle was one of the most important strongholds of the Aretine countryside. Due to its position, it was able to exercise control over the Valdarno and the Val di Chiana. In the course of the centuries, the castle has been known by different names: first Vincione Piccolo, then Battifolle, and finally Castel Pugliese (from the name of the owners, the Pugliesi family).

The actual aspect and shape of the castle, which has the form of an irregular rectangle, was given to it in 1381 when the Florentine started a great work of widening Battifolle: a double town-wall circuit with Guelph crenellation encircled a smaller courtyard on the southern side and a widener one at north, both of rectangular shape, the high keep placed on the western side [towards Arezzo] at direct control of the main gate. The gate was strengthened with the addition of a massive squared barbican, in Italian called 'battifolle'.

The lower part of the external curtain is reinforced by a strong scarped wall. On the western side, a tower closes the angle where the walls of the two wards join together. All the other towers are today lowered or integrated in the successive restructurations that transformed the castle from a perfect war machine into a country residence. Inside the castle is enriched by a beautiful Renaissance courtyard, while the Italian garden that occupied the area west of the walls is now completely gone, invaded by vegetation.

In 1390, Battifolle was occupied, with the help of a traitor, by the troops of the Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, in war against Florence. In 1431, the troops of Niccolò Piccinino besieged it. At the end of 15° century it was acquired by the Pugliesi family, which maintained it until the 1800s, when it became the property of the Borghese. Recently, after decades of abandonment, it has been acquired by a private society that is undertaking its slow restoration. Currently the castle is visible only from the outside.