An evocative journey through time to discover the places of the Etruscans in Chianti: this is what you can do by following the path called "Etruschi in terra Berardenga", which allows you to explore areas where important Etruscan finds were discovered, as well as the surroundings of San Gusmè and Villa a Sesta, in the municipality of Castelnuovo Berardenga.
The route, about 12 km long, is easy to walk, suitable for everyone and can be followed at any time of year.
It runs along dirt roads, forest paths and vineyard lanes, following a loop indicated by CAI signs. You can start either from San Gusmè or from Villa a Sesta, clockwise or counterclockwise (recommended).
Along the way you will come across important evidence of Etruscan history, dating from the 8th-7th centuries B.C., and beyond.
Such as the nucleus of Campi, just outside San Gusmè, one of the most historically and scenically significant places in the entire Berardenga area, located on a rise on the slopes of the Chianti mountains, from which you can enjoy a panorama of impressive beauty.
You will encounter the necropolis of Poggione, which over the years has yielded important finds such as the iron and bronze chariot from the late 7th century B.C., now preserved at the Museo di Asciano. Further on here are the gentle forms of Pian Tondo, the mysterious hill that has returned truly significant Etruscan finds and traces of the probable presence of a noble palace, and to whose existence the findings of the Poggione necropolis can also be linked.
Turning back a few hundred meters, you will then descend towards Cetamura and Scandelaia, settlements that rise on areas probably already occupied in Etruscan times, to arrive near the Etruscan necropolis of Bosco Le Pici, currently unvisited but the site of numerous finds preserved at the museum of Castellina in Chianti.
From here you will reach Villa a Sesta, a village of medieval origin dominated to the north by Sesta, one of the first forts defending the Sienese territory and famous for its two starred restaurants and the Dit'Unto event.
The last stretch will allow you to return once again to San Gusmè and rest in one of the most beautiful villages in Chianti, characterized by 14th-century walls, the marvelous treasure chest of beauty constituted by the church of the lay Compagnia della S.s. Annunziata, whose bell tower was mentioned by Montale in the poem "Verso Siena", and the peculiar statue of Luca Cava.
The "Etruschi in terra Berardenga" trail is part of the Rete Escursionistica del Chianti Classico, which brings together routes and itineraries of the Chianti municipalities.