Spannocchia Castle near Siena

In italiano

Castello di Spannocchia



Hermitage Rosia

Villa Celsa

Monastery Lecceto

Castle Spannocchia

The earliest written record of the name Spannocchia refers to the donation of a piece of land by Zacaria dei Spannocchi in 1255 to the monks of the nearby hermitage of Santa Lucia at Rosia in exchange for protection of the soul of his mother, Donna Altigrada. The remains of this monastery as well as of the mediaeval fortress of Castiglione che Dio Sol Sa (The Castle that Only God Knows) and of the romanesque bridge of Ponte Della Pia are still to be seen in the area around Spannocchia.

The Villa at Castello di Spannocchia is the original family dwelling on the estate. It was built by the Spannocchi family in the 15 C, enlarged in the 18 C and then purchased by the Cinelli family in 1925. It includes the mediaeval tower, the villa itself and the farm, the Tenuta di Spannocchia, and is located about 12 miles southwest of Siena in central Tuscany. The Tenuta is an organic farm and forest and is part of the Region of Tuscanyís Riserva Natural Alto Merse nature reserve.

Castello di Spannocchia

Castello di Spannocchia


Castello Spanocchia Spannocchia Castle

Although written records of the estate are very limited, it is known that the Spannocchi family were residents on the property by the early 1200ís. It is believed that the Spannocchi were part of one of the great feudal clans that, along with the church, controlled most of the countryside of Tuscany during the mediaeval period. Members of the family continued to be active in the life of Siena into the 1800ís, but during that century their fortunes declined until one of the last remaining members of the family sold the property to Delfino Cinelli in 1925. Cinelli, a Florentine aristocrat and writer, bought the property both as an investment and for its value to him as a tranquil place to pursue his writing.

Following the end of the Second World War, the Mezzadria sharecropping farm system began to decline as a result of the advent of modern industrialized agriculture and the general prosperity of Italy. As the population of tenant farmers at Spannocchia dwindled and agriculture declined drastically during the 50ís, 60ís, and 70ís, the farm gradually took on a new role, providing housing and work space for programmes in archaeology conducted by the American non-profit Etruscan Foundation, created in 1958 by Delfino Cinelliís son Ferdinando. Ferdinando's daughter Francesca Cinelli and her husband Randall Stratton have managed the property since moving to Spannocchia from the United States in 1992. Upon the death of Count Cinelli in March of 2002, his heirs assisted in the creation of the new Spannocchia Foundation and Associazione Castello di Spannocchia to continue the educational and research activities at Spannocchia.

Authentic Tuscany - the Tuscan Maremma

The Maremma is the name give to a large proportion of southwestern Tuscany and northernmost Latium, encompassing the Tyrrhenian seashore, coastal plains and inland hill towns. Click here to learn about the Maremma coastline, thermal springs, nature reserves, Etruscan ruins and great holiday accommodations.

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