In Brolio, in Gaiole in Chianti, there stands a castle that has belonged to the Ricasoli family since 1141. Bettino Ricasoli, who lived in the 19th century, was known as the “Iron Baron” on account of the ruthlessness with which he treated even his own subjects. He ruled his domain until 1880, when he died of a heart attack in his castle.
The Baron’s body was not buried immediately but was kept near the altar of the crypt in the family chapel. It was not long before rumours began to circulate, then spread across the Chianti area, about strange appearances around the castle. His funeral was marked by disturbing events: the wind began to blow, the windows opened and slammed as if moved by an invisible hand. A swarm of moths invaded the chapel, causing many of the mourners to disperse.
As if that were not enough, the coffin was so heavy that the pallbearers let it fall as if it were full of stones. No one could lift it. Then the priest arrived.
He said a few words in Latin and, to everyone's amazement, the coffin suddenly became light. It is said that the damned souls were safely confined to one place and the coffin of the baron was then buried in a ravine. It seemed like an appropriate location for the final resting place of the baron, but from that moment an endless series of appearances began.