The municipality of Castagneto Carducci is an almost intact strip of land of preserved nature, works of art, genuine products and good gastronomy, shops with ancient flavours, hospitality and tradition.
The fascination that the Castagneto countryside has exerted and still exerts on those who pass through it, inhabit it and enjoy it is documented by the countless series of articles, descriptions, poems and books that have been written about it since the beginning of our millennium in praise of its gentleness, its balance between natural forms and the development of the land, and its very human dimension.
The mild and pleasant climate of the Costa degli Etruschi is capable of creating true spectacles of nature, such as the olive trees of the Castagneto Carducci countryside, found directly next to the Viale dei Cipressi that leads from San Guido to Bolgheri, thousands of years old, with enormous trunks over 2.5 metres in diameter at the base and with heights that reach 25 metres.
The roads with little traffic, the gentle and restful landscape, the climate that is always mild even in winter, and the routes suitable for professionals and amateurs alike, offer the possibility of cycling in the wild soul of the most authentic Maremma.
The landscape of the municipality of Castagneto Carducci and its surroundings has been modelled over time according to the vine, assuming characteristics of extraordinary and fascinating beauty.
A varied wine-growing landscape that encompasses a wide swathe, with irregularly arranged hills and the coastal plain. A varied morphology of which Castagneto Carducci is proud, and which has been able to better combine tourism with oenology, thanks also to the beauty of its landscapes.
The Viale dei Cipressi in Bolgheri currently measures 4962 m. and the total number of cypresses is 2540. It is a straight road connecting the Via Aurelia to Bolgheri.
At the time when Carducci lived in Bolgheri (1838-1848), despite what was stated in the poem “DAVANTI SAN GUIDO” about the Cypress trees that ”… A BOLGHERI ALTI E SCHIETTI VAN DA SAN GUIDO IN DUPLICE FILAR…”, the stretch from San Guido to the Capanne had not yet been completed.
It was only after the fame this poem received that Count Ugolino was forced to replace the majestic centuries-old olive trees that lined the stretch between the Capanne and Bolgheri with ‘I Maricoccoli’, creating the Viale di Bolgheri as Carducci had imagined it in his verses.
The Bolgheri castle is located at the end of the long Viale dei Cipressi, not far from the Church of San Antonio. It is externally clad with exposed red brick and stands on two floors. On the right side of the building is a high tower, with an arch in the centre, bearing a garland of leaves and fruit along the edge, and on the inside the coat of arms of the Counts of Castagneto; on the sides are two embrasures. The upper part of the tower houses two overlapping mullioned windows with the Della Gherardesca coat of arms. The upper part is crenellated, as is the tower.
The residential building is typical of late Renaissance construction; the church, on the other hand, is medieval, while the bell tower and rectory are the product of 18th-19th century construction interventions.
In the 16th century, however, apart from the church, there was only the residence of the Counts Della Gherardesca, probably flanked by the usual watchtower. From the 18th century onwards, the palace underwent various extensions, embellishments and renovations. A rectangular plaque on the tower documents the events surrounding the drastic renovation of the Castellana tower by Count Guido Alberto in 1895.
Giosuè Carducci in his poem ‘Davanti a S. Guido’ recalls in a few words the figure of his grandmother Lucia to whom the poet was very fond.
Signora Lucia’ died in Bolgheri in 1842 and was buried in the small cemetery where her remains are still believed to rest and where she is remembered with a stone walled in the mortuary with the inscription taken from the poem: ‘Di cima al poggio, allor dal cimitero, giù de cipressi per la verde via, alta, solenne, vestita di nero parvemi riveder nonna Lucia’.
In the centre of Bolgheri, there is also a statue representing Grandma Lucia created by sculptor Flavio Melani.