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Towns of the area

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Gaiole in Chianti

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Inhabitants in 1991: 2.309

The municipal territory of Gaiole in Chianti extends for 128,99 square kilometres between the mountains of Chianti and the hills of the high Val d’Arbia. It had its origins in the Medieval as the market to the Castles of Vertine and Barbischio; it became Seat of Community with the Leopoldina reforms in 1774.

Some historic news of the Gaiole land comes from 1086 in an act of donation or leasing for the most part relative of the nearby Abbey of Coltibuono; but it was only at the end of the XII century that the village of Gaiole began to develop on the road which goes from Valdarno to Chianti, as a connection point and place of exchange to the nearby castles: and as a market it was recorded in a document of 1215.

With the construction in the middle of the XIII century of the Chianti League by Firenze, Gaiole was affirmed as capital of one of the Thirds (the others were Castellina and Radda), representing an important military base for Firenze, from the middle of the 1400s until the Fiorentina conquest of the Siena territory. In Gaiole’s territory there are still imposing castles of extremely ancient origin: Brolio, possessed by the Firidolfi-Ricasoli since 1172, completely reconstructed in 1564; Montegrossoli, conquered by Firenze in 1172, coveted for its strategic position on the crest between Valdarno and Chianti, of which today only remain impressive ruins; Meleto, this was also in time possessed by the Firidolfi; and also the noted Abbey of Coltibuono, one of the most important Vallombrosani centres of the region, founded in XI century and in 1810 it became a privately owned farm.

Places to visit:
Vertine, Medieval oval plan village, enclosed by walls of which certain tracts remain.
S. Maria a Splatenna, this 1200s Romanic parish church is found a short distance outside the town.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Picture by Sandro Santioli
Translated by Ann Mountford

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