© Photos: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI
Let’s know something about the fascinating Aldobrandesca Fortress, one of the most impressive Medieval Italian castles, amazing setting for the making of “The Princess, the Fire and the Castle” short movie and the e-book created by Roberto Alborghetti-Mitrani Yarden, in online bookstores and in Hopes Store at only 0.99 Euro.
Since the 11th century the area of southern Tuscany around the castle of Piancastagnaio was the object of the expansionist politics of the powerful feudal family of theAldobrandeschi. The whole territory is rich in historical remains tied to these potentates. Between the possessions of the Aldobrandeschi, Piancastagnaio was almost always the site of allotted to the noble family from the monks of the Abbey of S.Salvatore since the beginning of the year 1000. Subsequently it was claimed from the Viscounts of Campiglia and during the 13th century it became object of ulterior disputes between the cities of Siena and Orvieto.
The Orvietani gained control of the powerful fortress in the 1303 and maintained it for around fifty years. At this point they entered in the quarrel with the heirs of the Aldobrandeschi, the Orsini of Pitigliano, to oppose the new aims of the Senese Republic. Only between the years 1415 and 1430 Siena finally succeeded to taking possession of Piancastagnaio, that was attached to the Capitanato ofRadicofani. In 17th century the settlement became a Granducal fief and finally, with the Leopoldine reforms, the chief town of the the same community.
The country town has a circular form, once had surrounding wall enclosure with alternating square towers and four gates. The walls and the gates have been almost entirely demolished, with the exception of few lines, three towers, two with semicircular shape and the other squared, the main city Gate beside the Rocca and other three minor Gates in the southern front of the walls: ‘Porta Romana’, ‘Porticciola’ e ‘Porta di Voltaia’.
In the highest point of the inhabited area rises still today the mighty Rocca Aldobrandesca. The construction has a square form and is endowed with tall and strongly inclined walls. From the enclosure rises two towers , the greatest, either as thickest, had functions of keep, the other, in the opposite angle, defended the underlying gate of access to the city.
The whole complex was endowed with machicoulis and battlement, still today almost intact. The Rocca is under good condition thanks to careful work of restoration.