IN THE HEART OF THE CASTELVECCHIO NATURAL RESERVE
about 10 km from San Gimignano, Castelvecchio was born as a human settlement between the sixth and seventh centuries AD, even if the oldest documentary news dates back to the mid-12th century, affirming that Castelvecchio belonged to the bishops of Volterra.
A LITTLE HISTORY
This fortified city saw its maximum splendor in the year 1,000 where its strategic position made it central to the Via del Sale and the Via Francigena, important routes to avoid the Byzantines.
became became free that could accommodate over 500 people, who mainly devoted themselves to agriculture. Thanks to the Limestone Quarries and Silver Mines hidden in the Nature Reserve, at the end of the 1200s Castelvecchio also became a small “Silver Eldorado” with prospectors who flocked from all the parts of Italy that gave the local population the possibility to get rich quickly. Testimony of the well-being of those times, the fresco ordered from a Sienese painter for the Church of San Frediano whose remains are still visible.
The ancient village became a frontier outpost on the border between the two rival cities, the Guelph Volterra and the Ghibellina San Gimignano, which fought over it and remained protagonists of constant wars until the beginning of the 1300s.
the citadel passed under the Municipality of San Gimignano, which made it a defensive bulwark due to its strategic position.
Around the 14th century
the decline of Castelvecchio began, initially counting fewer and fewer villagers, later in 1352 it was devastated by a terrible earthquake, but in 1485 a very violent plague epidemic broke out which made the medieval town completely uninhabited.
THE NATURE RESERVE TODAY
Today of this medieval village immersed in the woods, only the foundations of various buildings remain, the walls of the Castle, the church with the walls remaining fairly intact, a mill with millstones, a huge rainwater cistern, a tower, a sketch of a drawbridge and a splendid nature that makes up the nature reserve and which instead has never stopped living, in an uncontaminated and luxuriant forest of Turkey oaks, oaks and holm oaks and becoming a destination, in winter, for the very rare Peregrine Falcon.
DO YOU WANT TO VISIT THIS WONDERFUL NATURE RESERVE?
Also read our article on Forest Immersioni, which we have decided to carry out here too, in this enchanted place