Gaiole in Chianti is municipality with 2.333 population of Siena province. Is situated among a hills of Chianti region. The first settlements in the area of Gaiole in Chianti go back to the Etruscan and Roman Ages, as testified by the numerous archaeological finds came to light like a necropolis dating back to the I - III-th century A. C. The village of Gaiole in Chianti consolidated during the Middle Ages along the close Massellone torrent. Between the XI-th and XIV-th century Gaiole in Chianti passed first to the jurisdiction of the Ricasoli's family and then to the Republic of Florence. This latter started an important work for the fortification of the village. During the XIII-th century occurred the development of the village as a market, enormously increasing its importance. For its strategic position the village of Gaiole in Chianti subduel attacks by the army of Siena who devasted its territory during the struggle fought between the two republics, lasted until 1555, when occurred the collapse of the Republic of Siena and Gaiole in Chianti was annexed to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom. From then started a period of peace and political stability with the government of the Medici's Grand Dukes, who started a great work for the reclamation of the territory in order to promote the increase of the agricultural productions and especially the wine production. Among the most important monuments to see in Gaiole in Chianti we point out here the Pieve di Santa Maria a Spaltenna (Saint Mary Church in Spaltenna), the Castello di Brolio (Brolio Castle) and the Castello di Meleto (Meleto Castle).
Pieve di Santa Maria a Spaltenna (Saint Mary Church in Spaltenna) - This Romanic fortified Church goes back to the X-th century. The building, composed of three naves with a single apse, is beautiful for its very simplicity. Of particular interest is the fine facing of the walls in rows of grey limestone, which also characterizes the tall bell tower to the left of the facade.
Castello di Brolio - The original stones of Castello di Brolio date back to the Middle Ages. Located on the border between Siena and Florence, it became a theatre displaying all of the conflicts during those times, representing a Florentine fortress against a continuously hostile Siena. Throughout the centuries, the castle was under constant threat and was repeatedly attacked in various battles, from the 15th century Aragonite and Spanish attacks to the 17th century combats, culminating finally in the air raids of the Second World War. The castle has been reconstructed and restored numerous times but it still encompasses many of the original aspects from the different periods of the previous centuries: from the bastions of the Middle Ages to the Romantico and neo-Gothic additions up until the 19th century Tuscan style. Today, the castle is still the home of the Ricasoli Barons, even after more than 10 centuries.
Castello di Meleto - Meleto Castle announces itself in the enchanting Chianti landscape at the end of a pleasant driveway lined with cypresses and junipers. The structure stands amid sun-kissed fields and vineyards, not far from the boundary between the ancient Republics of Siena and Florence, about 1 Km. from Gaiole in Chianti. The Ricasoli family extended and embellished the building over the centuries, and today the Castle still has its massive 15th century fortifications with an imposing cylindrical tower built as protection against artillery fire. But there is also the aristocratic grace of the villa nobile, with its sequence of furnished and decorated rooms, and an unparalleled 18th century theatre.