In the Province of Siena, between the wide and peaceful Val di Chiana and the extraordinary hills known as the Crete Senesi, stand the ruins of the medieval castle of Montelifré, with its small village below. In a fairy tale setting, rising from a steep crag, the remains of this medieval fortress lend a romantic touch to the landscape over which they cast their solemn shadows.
During long winter evenings by the fireside, farmers from the surrounding villages and the eldest inhabitants of the neighbourhood, tell stories handed down from generation to generation, strange tales of ancient hatred, love and vendetta, and of extraordinary characters who were on the one hand respectable and generous noblemen, and on the other were robbers and counterfeiters. Assisted by documentation to be found in the archives, and by references found in the works of medieval writers in their detailed accounts of Sienese history, we realise that Montelifré has earned its place in the history books.
The fortress was built at the beginning of the 11th century, and exactly three centuries later, it came into the possession of the noble Sienese family of the Counts Martinozzi, who still own it. In April of 1527, during the conflict between the Signoria of Florence and the Republic of Siena, the Castle of Montelifré was besieged by Sienese troops. The fortress, which lay on the boundary between the two Tuscan states, offered refuge to rebels and political fugitives, and enemies of the Republic, and its owners were found guilty of conspiring against the Republic of Siena. As punishment the foundations of its impregnable walls were blown up, leaving the ruins that we see today, as a reminder of that bloody battle.
Today Montelifré no longer provides shelter for rebels and political refugees, but rather for people from northern lands in search of the sun, in a peaceful and beautiful natural landscape. The village has been transformed into a small number of pleasant and very comfortable holiday apartments of between 80 and 140 square metres, each fully equipped with all modern conveniences, including TV, dishwasher, and freezer. Each apartment is fully furnished, with period furniture and antique decor, and is provided with bed linen, towels, and necessary amenities.
There are delightful walks through woods or open fields along age-old tracks linking the villages and farms, or you may explore the private gardens and bowers of the extensive castle grounds. There is a large private swimming pool, with a view out over the Crete Senesi to Siena, some 40 kilometres distant. Parking is in a shaded area out of sight of the castle.
The nearest village is Montisi (about 2 kilometres) and Trequanda is a little further (4 kilometres), both with restaurants, shops, a bank, and a post office.
Costs per week during high season (mid-June to end August) and low season (the rest of the year except public holidays)
For reservations and further information, please contact Laura Martinozzi or telephone/fax +39-0577-845207.