According to several antique and well-preserved parchments, Vicchiomaggio Castle, once named Vicchio dei Longobardi (Village of the Longobards), dates back to about 1400.
On the top of a hill, dominating the whole Greve Valley, it is just 18 and 38 km from Siena and Florence respectively. Over the centuries this has demonstrated to be an extremely strategic position.
In fact, during the Middle Ages, Vicchiomaggio Castle was crucial for the defence of Florence during its feuds with the city of Siena.
Later on, it became an exclusive Manor House of the Renaissance period when it reached its peak and when its original name was integrated by the word Maggio (May) to recall various maggiolate (May songs) of Calendimaggio (May day).
During its long and glorious history, Vicchiomaggio Castle has hosted various famous artists, including Leonardo da Vinci and Francesco Redi. Leonardo stayed at the castle while he was painting his masterpiece, Monna Lisa, and he also drew a charming and impressive picture that is still preserved among his personal documents. Francesco Redi, a member of the Accademia della Crusca (Florentine Literary Academy), wrote his famous poem “Bacco in Toscana” (Bacco in Tuscany) while staying at Vicchiomaggio in 1865.
Vicchiomaggio Castle is built of solid stone and features a tall, crenellated tower and is surrounded by well-preserved manor houses and boundary walls. Thanks to careful and meticulous restoration works, it is well-preserved and has been acknowledged as a national monument.
Images Castello Vicchiomaggio