Castelnuovo Berardenga is officially part of the Chianti wine area, being included in the Sienese Hills area as well as that of the Classico, a countryside dotted with castles, fortified villages, stately villas and religious buildings.
One of Castelnuovo’s most interesting medieval history facts is the abundance of castles, including the Montalto Castle in Chianti, owned by the Berardenghi since the 9th century and stratigcally vital thanks to its position on the border between Siena and Florence.
Alongside these, the high number of Romanesque parish churches – like the Church of San Pietro in Cerreto, the Certosa di Pontignano or the Monastery of San Salvatore in Montebona – scattered around Castelnuovo stand as reminders of the great economic and demographic development in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Among the numerous historical villages, we strongly recommend visiting San Gusmè, Geggiano and Pontignano.
The first is surrounded by almost entirely intact walls, inside which is the church dedicated to Santi Cosma and Damiano and the church of Compagnia.
Geggiano owes its notoriety to its famous residence, the Villa Bianchi Bandinelli, dating back to the 14th century and restored in 1700. Together with its Italian garden, the villa is recognised as a national monument.
Pontignano is instead known for its impressive Certosa, where galleries and cloisters lead to small cells and courtyards.
An octagonally-designed chapel traditionally marks Sant’Ansano’s (the first patron of Siena) place of martyrdom; the nearby Church of Sant’Ansano used to hold his body, which has now been transferred to the Cathedral of Siena.
Finally, the original Chianti Sculpture Park is also found near Castelnuovo Berardegna in Pievasciata. The exhibition permanently displays contemporary art installations and sculptures in a setting of an oak and holm oak wood.