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Some History

The existence of Coiano goes back to the year 1000.

In the Middle ages it became an important stop for pilgrims crossing Italy on their way to Rome finding rest and refreshment in the peace and beauty of these lands.

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The castle with its magnificent romanesque parish stands along the way of "via Francigena", in the stretch from San Miniato to San Gimignano.

Surrounded by an estate of more than 300 hectares cultivated in vineyards, olive groves and in part for pasture, the complex of the Castle and of the Farm is constituted by the old villa master and of a series of colonial houses positioned in a charming natural frame, with splendid woods and three lovely lakes. Belonging in the past to some of the most noble florentine families among which the "Davanzati", the "Albizi" and the "Pucci", the castle was famous ever since the year 1300 for the quality of its wine and the goodness of its oil, that today, like then represents the farm's major resourse.

Whether it be the modern visitor who will choose Coiano as a stop within a larger itinerary of the Valdelsa or the traveller who will stop in this small village for a quiet stay surrounded by nature, the charm of the markings of the past will not escape them.

The ancient parish of Saint Peter and Paul sits in the immediate vicinity of the Castle, on a delightful hillock within a frame of olive and cypress trees. Their austere and elegant shape makes a true jewel of the romanesque art. A picturesche flight of steps leads one to the front of the castle, where the inferiore area is built with the use of jagged rock that goes back to the most ancient building practices and is followed by a layer of fired bricks that, according to a technical expert, represents one of the most remarkable works of the territory. Just inside one can once again admire some capitals finely decorated with geometric designs that go back to the first stages of construction.

The parish was built along the stretch of road between Via Francigena that links Lucca and Siena and goes back to the year 1000 as documented. For almost all of the middle ages this road remained the only access possible for pilgrims or travellers to use for crossing Italy on their way to Rome, as proof, a list of places was provided by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his journey from London to Rome at the end of the 10th Century.

Even the founding of the Castle must be linked to the existence of this important road artery and the first use of the villa was probably a kind of military base that had among its duties that of collecting the taxes for the crossing of Francegena.

Therefore at first acting as a customs garrison, the Castle, later was used for other purposes, mainly argicultural. It distinguished itself during the year 1300 for its production of oil and wine. A letter dated "Coiano, 30th January 1383" writes, found a palace by Davanzati in "Via Porta Rossa" in Florence and is signed by the farmerf Migliorato di Ser Riccomanno that informs us of the excellent quality of these products; its consumptionfwrites the farmer,"is not for family use."

It was infact some of the most noble florentine families to boast of their personal possessions from these lands. The castle belonged in the past to the Albizi, the Venturi, and the Masetti to later pass onto the ecletic Elia Volpi, the restorer painter and fine connaisseur offlorentine art in the year 1921. In the second half of the 1800 the Countess Carlotta Masetti who extravagantly modernized the wine industry of Coiano, so much that the farm was awarded a gold medal in 1885 in the governing pagent. Left untouched is the most ancient part of the cellar that was destined for ageing wine and positioned 18 meters deep; that still today hosts gastronomy fairs and a variety of activities linked to wine and its history.

 


FUORIPORTA - Casa Vacanze - Via Coianese, 79 - 50050 Castelnuovo d'Elsa (Firenze) Italy
Tel. +39.0571.673033 - Fax. +39.0571.680185 - E-mail: info@fuoriportacoiano.com

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