Siena is full of a thousand things – Il Castellaccio: in the Montagnola the remains of an imposing fortress infested by werewolves
In the thick wood of the Sienese Montagnola, the remains of a fortification suddenly appear in front of you, an imposing one today in ruins even if it suggests its glorious past. It is the so-called Castellaccio (the real name of the site is still unknown).
The toponym Castellaccio suggests the fortified nature of the place (precisely “castle”), which has now fallen into disuse. At the state of the research no news has been traced and currently the Castellaccio is census in the Territorial Information System of Casole d’Elsa as a simple “scattered rural house”. Indeed, at least from the end of the Middle Ages (late fifteenth century) the destiny of many castles was precisely this: to become homes for peasants, the settlers in fact.
This is the main reason that has directed the research on Castellaccio towards the principles of the Archeology of Architecture, thanks to the application of which it is possible to literally read its architectural aspects, like a stone book.
Today of that imposing structure, which rises the highest part of the hill, with double walls, divided into some buildings on the structure and flanked: a large tower with a rectangular base, against which a more recent house is leaning (the definable house ” farmhouse “). Wide stretches of walls and low walls run all around, pushing both in the direction of the slope of the ridge and transversely, giving life to a complex network of terraces placed on several levels. Access to the area pertaining to the castle is guaranteed by a beaten earth passage (north) and an arch that opens into the walls (south-east). The structure has two walls: the top wall, that is the one closest to the tower, has incorporated a very particular and remarkable stretch of wall especially for the angles and for the size of the blocks that compose it.
Thanks to the analysis of the walls and the construction phases, a dating around 1200 (late XII century – XIII century) can be proposed for the tower, estimated on the basis of comparisons with other sites in the area (Montarrenti, Radi di Montagna, le Vergene) and with elegant Sienese urban buildings. It should be emphasized that the castles around Pievescola, despite being today in the province of Siena, were structures belonging to the diocese of Volterra. A border area, the Montagnola, which arouses interest for the investments made in terms of fortification in the medieval period.
A place still to be discovered, the Castellaccio, studied by Alessandra Fortini whom I thank for letting me share the research for her degree thesis in Archeology.
And now you will think: but no sprites, ghosts or the like?
Deluded. This is land of mammary wolves. Legend has it that two who at night appoints the guard to collect wheat found themselves in and one of the farmers confessed to suffering from “moon sickness” and transforming into a wolf. Suddenly the moon begins to rise in the sky and the boy begins his mutation but before losing “self-awareness” he made his friend take refuge on the tallest tree so that he could not attack him. The young man who became a werewolf called his fellow men and set out to hunt, but when the sun rose back to normal, he let the other down, and since half a sheep was left from the nocturnal follies, the two, since there was no longer any danger, roasted the animal. and happily ate breakfast under the walls of the Castellaccio which was coming to life.
(and for the stories of werewolves, witches and the like: Massimo Biliorsi “Magical guide to the lands of Siena).