The Castle: the history, the estate, the church
The castle of Calcione has been in existence since the Xth century.
The earliest records of Calcione are in a document of the State Archives in Siena, which mentions a contract (or some other transaction) drawn up in 984 "in castrum Calcionis".
As early as the XIth century, the rule and jurisdiction over the castle of Calcione lay with the monks of the Order of St. Eugenius of Siena. In the XIIIth century, the castle and domain of Calcione were bought by the Tolomei family of Siena. In 1381, Diego Tolomei gave the castle to the Republic of Florence.
From the end of the XVth century the castle of Calcione became an important Florentine military outpost heading toward Siena. To this day the borders of the present property follow exactly the ancient boundaries between the two Tuscan states, in addition to marking the line between the provinces of Siena and Arezzo. After Florence conquered Siena in 1555, Calcione lost its military function and, converted to farming and forestry, it became the feudal seat of the Lotteringhi della Stufa family. Ferdinando de’ Medici, grand duke of Tuscany bestowed the title of Marquisate in 1632.
Since then, history, tradition and quality of life unite this ancient family to its Castle. From an architectural point of view, broadly speaking, the castle’s structure has not changed since the beginning of the XVth century. Two of its four towers were destroyed in the first half of that century (the base of one tower survives).
Il Calcione is a very private estate that covers 2,400 acres of Tuscan countryside on the border with Umbria. The property is set in the hills of Val di Chiana, one of the most beautiful areas of Tuscany with its centuries old trees, olive groves and vineyards. The nearest village – Lucignano – is an unknown gem. Its original, elliptical architecture is surprising, a very rare example of medieval construction.
Scattered around this unspoilt landscape are the country houses: beautifully restored respecting ancient traditions to preserve the original architectural structures and characteristics. Their spacious and comfortable interiors combine the welcoming atmosphere of antique furniture with all modern conveniences.
Ideal for a tranquil vacation in the heart of unspoilt countryside, the houses at Calcione are situated close to cities of great cultural interest. Every place has its secret delights, we feel that Calcione and the area around it offers many undiscovered gems, such as those less well known villages and towns of Tuscany and Umbria like Cortona, Lucignano, Montalcino, Monte Oliveto, Monte San Savino, Pienza, Sansepolcro, Gubbio, Todi, Urbino, Assisi...
The estate has three large lakes, swimming pools and a tennis court that contribute to an ideal setting for a special vacation: sport, study, exploration or the simple pleasure of doing nothing.
In the area, golf courses and riding stables, thermal treatment centers and hot springs spas, open markets and antique fairs, local trattorias and very good restaurants, cultural events and festivals - all within easy reach - provide further entertainment for your vacation.
Calcione makes and bottles its own organic high quality extra virgin olive oil, one of the main ingredients of Tuscan cuisine. The estate also produces organic wine, honey, fruit and vegetables from the castle’s orchard.
Attached to the castle is its church, available for weddings, christenings or informal services (without a priest or minister), such as renewal of wedding vows etc. The present building can be accurately dated to the beginning of the XVIIIth century, but it is probably at least one hundred years older. It was a parish seat until about thirty years ago under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Arezzo. Up until the middle of the 1950s it served over three hundred souls. Then the movement of the rural population to the cities brought an end to the parish.
The interior of the church has frescoes by the painter and etcher Luigi Ademollo (1764 – 1849). Ademollo ranks as one of the most individual representatives of Italian Neoclassicism. After attending the Milan Academy at an early age and spending some time in Florence, Ademollo went to Rome in 1785 in order to study the works of classical antiquity. In 1788, Ademollo settled in Florence, where he was admitted to the prestigious Accademia di Belle Arti and where he was to live and work until his death.
Ademollo was very active in Tuscany, as documented by numerous monumental frescoes and paintings with historical and allegorical themes, as well as by decoration cycles for churches, palaces and public buildings in Florence, Siena and Arezzo. Ademollo had a marked predilection for crowd scenes: he preferred multi-figure, dynamic and elaborate compositions which gave him the opportunity to depict a large number of different physical movements and emotions.
The beautiful main altar painting represents S.Ansano, S.Pietro, S.Andrea e S.Rocco. Relics are also conserved here – the entire body covered in wax – of San Giocondo, a young Syrian martyr. This relic was brought here by a della Stufa in the XVIth century.