Situated between the green Tuscan hills between Arezzo and Siena, a panoramic position, the Castello di Gargonza is a village of 1200, today transformed into a wonderful hotel. At the "Torre di Gargonza", the restaurant just outside the walls, you can immerse yourself in the great Tuscan culinary tradition and savor the best dishes of the local gastronomic tradition.
Castello di Gargonza History
To fully appreciate the magic of the castle of Gargonza you should fly over it with the sweetness of a glider, not to disturb the silence that reigns here. Located between Arezzo and Siena, it is a place as beautiful as it is ancient and rich in history.
It was the Ubertini who set up the first nucleus of Gargonza on this secluded Apennine hill overlooking the Val di Chiana, holding it for a long time linked to the Ghibelline fortunes of Arezzo. A family consisting of homely bons of Lombard origin, the Ubertini also moved to Florence from where they were expelled in 1280, and in Guglielmino, bishop of Arezzo, a worthy representative of the Ghibelline front in the battle of Campaldino (1289), where he was defeated and killed.
Between 1302 and 1304 Gargonza consumes the anxiety of political and military redemption of Dante Alighieri, exile and condemned to death, all inscribed in his first ideological antibonifaciano design to return to Florence, where in the meantime Charles de Valois acted heavily in the interests of the Florentine Caetani and Neri. In the fortified village of Gargonza, therefore, the exiled Guelphs gathered together with the whole staff of the Bianchi, Vieri de 'Cerchi, Lapo degli Uberti and other members of the Ubertini consortium, in a hybrid alliance with the Ghibellines of Arezzo and the bandits from Florence a long time before, which nevertheless guaranteed absolute loyalty and support. In that ambiguity of an opportunistic "attachment" we went so far as to "deal with the innkeeper", that is, to make plans a little hasty about the conduct of a war yet to be undertaken, and which would have proved to be long and ruinous. In the variegated headquarters of Gargonza, "the modalities of surrender of the Blacks after a defeat given for certain, and finally a possible reconciliation, once the circuit of democratic liberties in the city was established"
Despite the first successes in the recovery of the castles of Piantravigne, Serravalle, Gaville and Ganghereto, the Blacks are able to recover hardly not only thanks to the turnaround of Carlino de 'Pazzi, who sold for a corruption of 400 gold florins to the neo- Florentine mayor Gherardino da Gambara, but also for the fears in several municipalities of a possible return to Florence of the old Ghibellines, in addition to the substantial attendance of that strange gargonzian understanding, circumstances that allowed the Blacks to seize and occupy, as early as June 1304, of all the Florentine public offices.
Strengthened by the victories reported, the Florentine armies attacked again the castle of Gargonza in 1307, which avoided the capitulation only thanks to the diffusion of the news, false, of the sudden arrival, from Rome to Florence, of the troops of Cardinal Orsini. And it remained in the situation of substantial link with Arezzo until 1381, when Giovanni degli Ubertini sold the castle to the Republic of Siena, collecting the conspicuous sum of 4,000 gold florins. Thus ended, in monetary liquidation, as was also the case with the Guidi counts for their casentino and Pistoia castles, the dominion of an ancient feudal family on one of the most important castles of the Val di Chiana. Four years later, in 1285, the Florentines, very skilled in the financial transactions for the purchase of the Tuscan funds, finally annexed Gargonza, which was henceforth linked to the city of Giglio.
For about half a century, the new political situation in Gargonza allowed considerable economic development and a conspicuous urbanization of the village, until the population, perhaps too inclined to Sienese sympathies, rose in 1433 against the unsatisfactory Florentine conduction of the feud. The military intervention of Florence was very hard to the point of almost completely destroying the castle, razing it to the ground in most of the houses and walls, so as not to leave anything more than the keep and the crenellated tower.
In the middle of the sixteenth century, in the middle of the noble period, Gargonza was purchased by Giovanni from the wealthy family of the Lotteringhi della Stufa, a noble family of Germanic origin (Lotharingen) who moved in Florence in the eleventh century, named as "owner" of the stove of the church of San Lorenzo in Florence, in front of which stands the Via della Stufa and the beautiful bugnato palace of the same name. Remote ancestors of the current owners, the Guicciardini-Corsi-Salviati, the Lotteringhi sold it in 1727 to fellow citizens Corsi, another rich Florentine family that in the meantime in Naples had acquired the title of marquises. Although the Courses gave impetus to the transformation of Gargonza into a flourishing landed property, entirely in line with the characteristic policy of reclamation and agricultural development of the Tuscan grand-ducal despotism, the castle was not prevented by substantial urban decadence and peripherality.
With the Patti agrari of 1950 and the end of the sharecropping system in Tuscany, Gargonza enters further stalled only to be re-launched in the seventies by Roberto Guicciardini Corsi Salviati, who has skillfully turned it into a village-residence consisting of apartments , bed and breakfast and tourist facilities equipped with all comforts of medium and high level, also connected in the circuit to historical-tourist brands of European level. All this is surrounded by a "medieval" scenario immersed in the evergreen greenery of cypresses, olive trees, holm oaks and the bush; among other things it consists of the remains of the walls, the beautiful entrance portal, the keep, as well as the crenellated tower that dominates the ogival plan of the village of Gargonza.
Hospitality is offered in apartments and in double suites inside the houses of the village and in standard double rooms in the guest quarters.
The rooms are characterized by sober elegance, which combines ancient and modern, and rustic architectural elements: ceilings with wooden beams, wrought iron beds, fireplaces. Immediately outside the walls are the La Torre di Gargonza restaurant - where you can taste typical dishes of the Tuscan tradition accompanied by the best regional labels - and the swimming pool, surrounded by a wooded estate of more than five hundred hectares.
Ideal location to celebrate the wedding, Gargonza is available with the staff of the Castle to meet every need, following step by step the organization of this special day: from the help with the documents at the offices of competence, the possibility of having a interpreter for the civil ceremony in English, French, German, assistance and coordination with the various suppliers.