Are you ready to embark on a journey to the most mysterious and intriguing places of Tuscany? Here are some very suggestive places to visit in Tuscany… a world of castles, fortresses, ghosts, knights, captivating stories, scary legends…
…a world where history blends with myth…
Let your imagination run through some of the most fascinating stories of Tuscany!
1. The Treasure of the Knights Templar
In 2004, during the restoration works of the church of San Mamiliano in the wonderful village of Sovana, a real treasure was accidentally discovered under the ancient paving! A treasure of 498 ancient gold coins dating from the 5th centurty DC!
Maybe it is the famous “Treasure of Montecristo”, that the novelist Alexandre Dumas described relying on folktales. Three ancient documents dating from the the 16th century refers about the existence of the treasure! Some other theories suppose that the treasure can be connected to the Knights Templars. You can now admire the precious coins at the Museum of San Mamiliano in Sovana.
That’s one of the most beautiful and suggestive sights to visit in Tuscany, south of Siena. In the year 1180, a knight left his life of violence and retired to live as a hermit at Montesiepi. He stuck his mighty sword in the stone, so to have a cross to pray at. The sword is still there today, after more than 800 years!
When you see the sword so deeply and firmly stuck into the hard rock you ask yourself: “How is that possible”? Of course you are now thinking of the story of King Arthur…..is it a coincidence that one of his knights was named Galvano? 🙂
The Cappella of Montesiepi is also characterized by symbols of the Knights Templar.
3. Villa Medicea Cerreto Guidi -The Ghost of Isabella dè Medici
Cerreto Guidi, small village in the province of Florence, is dominated by the wonderful 16th century Villa Medicea, standing right in the town’s center.
It was built around the year 1555 for want of Cosimo dè Medici, was the hunting residence of the Medici. The Villa is connected to the legend of Isabella dè Medici, daughter of Cosimo. In 1576, the beautiful Isabella was cruelly murdered by her husband Paolo Orsini, that suspected her of infidelity.
According to the legend, the ghost of Isabella still wanders in the Villa seeking for peace. You can still admire the portrait of Isabella, together with other portraits of the Medici displayed at the villa, that is now a museum dedicated hunting weapons.
4. Castle of Brolio – The ghost of the Baron
Bettino Ricasoli, known as the Iron Baron, is the inventor of the famous formula to make the Chianti Classico wine. He was a rich powerful man of the 19th century, having his residence at the beautiful and famous Castle of Brolio, surrounded by the enchanting vineyards of the Chianti.
On full moon nights, it is said that his ghost roams in the countryside around the castle, on his white horse and accompanied by his hunting dogs.
5. Castello di Poppi – The Ghost of Countess Matelda
The beautiful Castle of Poppi in the province of Arezzo, ancient residence of the Counts Guidi, has been a place of battles and violent stories throughout the centuries.
A local legend has it that the cruel and licentious ghost of the beautiful Matelda still wanders in the castle. It is said that the fascinating countess had a new lover in her room every night.
After the night of passion, however, to prevent them reveal her secret, she killed her lovers by making them fall into a ditch with sharp blades at the bottom. Finally the women of the village took their revenge by walling the countess alive in the tower, since then named the Devils’ Tower.
6. The Devil’s Bridge – Borgo a Mozzano
The Devil’s Bridge or Ponte della Maddalena at Borgo a Mozzano, in the province of Lucca, is a bridge with a peculiar and unusual shape. Built in the 14th century, it’s an imposing work of architecture characterized by three asymmetric arches.
The bridge is called the bridge of the Devil because of an ancient folktale.
The manufacturer, unable to complete such a difficult work, implored the help of the Devil. The Devil granted his cooperation in exchange of the first soul that would have crossed the bridge. Thanks to the Devil the bridge was built in just a single night. The manufacturer, however, was very sly, and sent a dog to run up to the bridge. The devil, thus deceived, disappeared in the waters of the river Serchio with the soul of a beast!
7. The Ghost of Monteriggioni
We are in Monteriggioni, spectacular fortified village near Siena. Legend has it that, at night, you can still hear the fearful lament of a ghost!
It’s Captain Zeti that, in 1554, led Monteriggioni to the defeat against the city of Florence. Monteriggioni was actually built to defend Siena from the rival Florence.
8. The Witches of Volterra
According to the legend, the beautiful hill town of Volterra, was the place where all the most powerful witches of Italy met! They used to meet just outside the town at a huge rock, on Saturdays. Beneath the rock , entering the grotto, there’s a spring of water, the purest water of Volterra.
If you love thrilling stories and want to know more about Tuscan mysteries, I suggest Mystery Tuscany, a movie documentary telling about the history and legends of Tuscany.
Here is the trailer, enjoy! 🙂