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Castagneto Carducci Castagneto Carducci Castagneto Carducci
Castagneto Carducci

What is at present Castagneto Carducci used to be called Castagneto della Gherardesca, from the name of the family, Lombard in origin, of which it was the fief. The della Gherardesca family are today the oldest Italian family, and the castle at Castagneto - still inhabited today by the family's descendants - dates back to the year one thousand. Since the end of the 12th century Castagneto had been under the polidcal jurisdiction of Pisa; but in 1406, the della Gherardesca counts put themselves under the protection of the Florentine Republic. The government of Florence elected the della Gherardesca's as its deputies in the castles of Casale, Bibbona, Bolgheri, Donoratico, Castagneto and other lesser castles, while it left them absolute lords of their own possessions in the Maremma, imposing on them only the obligation to send soldiers to Florence in case of war. These privileges were maintained by the della Gherardesca family until 1749, when the grand-ducal fiefs were abolished. The present-day name of Castagneto Carducci was given to the ancientfief in 1907, in honour of the poet Giosue Garducci who stayed there as an adolescent and who always remained bound to it. For this reason, the citizenry decided to change the name that it had at that time, Castagneto Marittimo, to that of Castagneto Garducci.Immortalised in Giosuè Carducci’s poem "Before San Guido", "I cipressi che a Bolgheri alti e schietti van da San Guido in duplice filar..." (The cypresses of Bolgheri, tall and straight, march from San Guido in a double line…) this ancient village has a fascination all of its own.

A stone’s throw from the sea and surrounded by countryside where vines and olive trees thrive, this little town with its unspoilt architectural harmony is dominated by the red brick castle which guards the entrance to the village of narrow paved streets and old stone houses bright with geraniums. Spectacular sunsets and darting swallows enliven the skies. Craft shops, wine shops and taverns offer traditional, local products.

The churches, the poet Giosuè Carducci’s childhood home and San Guido’s oratory are fascinating to visit, while the surrounding countryside with its holiday and horse-breeding farms is the ideal place for walking, cycling or horse riding.