Barbischio's history

Barbischio Castle overlooks the village of Gaiole in Chianti, in medieval times one of the three chief towns of the Chianti League. The first written record of Barbischio dates back to 1086. In 1220, domain over the castle and its manor houses were given by Emperor Frederick II of Swabia to the Counts Guidi di Battifolle.

Together with nearby Montegrossi, Vertine and Meleto – all within view of one another – Barbischio was part of the Florentine defence of this area of Chianti, bordering the dominion of Siena, mainly as a lookout, for which it was particularly suited because of its tall tower.

In 1230, and incursion by the Sienese army seriously damaged the fortifications. Later, along with many castles in the area, Barbischio was also owned by the powerful Ricasoli family. The last important historical event that involved the castle occurred in 1478, when it was occupied by the Aragonese army.

The fortification was then abandoned and allowed to fall into ruin. The remains of the tower have recently been repaired and it is now a private residence. The town walls are still partially visible, but most of all one can still fully appreciate the view that it has over the valleys below.