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An ancient castle in Tuscany: the history of Gargonza

An ancient castle in Tuscany: the history of Gargonza

Evocative and majestic, Gargonza is an ancient castle in Tuscany that has kept intact all the charm of medieval times. Thanks to the continuous restoration works and careful maintenance of it over all these years, walking through the streets of the village and entering the castle of Gargonza is a bit like stepping back in time.

In this article we retrace its centuries-old history of the village and the castle: it will be a truly fascinating journey through time.

The history of Gargonza over the centuries

It seems that the castle of Gargonza was built as a defensive structure around the 11th century. Specifically, the earliest records date back to exactly 1150: at that time, there was talk of a fortified castle on the road between Arezzo and Siena.

Over the years, Gargonza was transformed into a village where people were mainly engaged in wool processing and the care of the surrounding woods. In the seventeenth century, the castle would later be enlarged with a full-fledged farm: covering an area of about 900 hectares, the surrounding land was organized to be conducted on a sharecropping basis. Gargonza’s agricultural vocation lasted until the early 20th century.

After 300 years of flourishing agricultural life in the community, Gargonza was abandoned by its inhabitants but fortunately did not go into decline.

The Guicciardini Corsi Salviati family and the castle in Tuscany

castle in tuscany

The Corsi Salviati family has been the historic owner of Gargonza Castle since as far back as 1696, and since then has always dedicated itself to maintaining the original condition of the castle and village.

When Marquis Bardo Corsi Salviati died, all his property passed to Count Giulio Guicciardini, who added his surname to that of the original family. However, we are in the early 1900s, in the midst of a rural exodus: the hamlet is abandoned but one of the Count’s 8 sons, Roberto Guicciardini Corsi Salviati, chose to devote himself completely to the conservative restoration of the castle. The village was reborn and, from the 1960s, the houses and agricultural outbuildings were also restored. Gargonza was thus transformed into an accommodation facility, one of the very first in the region and in all of Italy, becoming a castle in Tuscany where people could stay as well as visit.

To this day, the castle of Gargonza is still owned by the Guicciardini Corsi Salviati family: it is the Count’s heirs, Neri and his wife Elisa, who carry on the activities of the hamlet and also the conservation and maintenance work, with the aim of preserving the hamlet’s medieval soul and appearance.

More than a castle in Tuscany, a real village

Gargonza is thus not just a castle in Tuscany but an entire medieval village. Around the tower there are stone-paved alleys along which we find numerous buildings maintained exactly as they were in medieval times: small peasant houses, with wooden beams and stone walls, have been converted into rooms and apartments that keep the medieval atmosphere intact.

Protecting the village we still find the original walls, preserved with great care.

What you will find today within the walls of Gargonza is therefore a perfectly preserved castle in Tuscany, a charming village and a luxury accommodation facility.

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