Castellina in Chianti clings over a little hill, facing the vineyards and olive trees plantations all around, which represent the biggest source of richness for the village.
Castellina in Chianti is definitely of Etruscan origins.
They have been the first genius inhabitants to settle down in these lands, leaving their testimonies with the beautiful necropolis of Monte Calvario, which face one of the two sides of the hill where the village lies.
Probably the ancient settlement was destroyed during the Barbarian’s invasions by the Gauls. It was thanks to a donation by the countess Matilde ai Conti Guidi, in the shape of feud, that Castellina in Chianti, called Saligolpe, was brought back to life.
This happened around the year 1000, and the village of Castellina, ruled by the Guidi family, was provided with the wall belt which is now possible to admire from the old town. Afterwards, the Guidi family gave the feud in vassalage to the close village Trebbio, corresponding to the locality of Trebbia, and a fortress was added.
The village was consequently called Castellina de’ Trebbiesi.
In 1193 the ruling family of Trebbia permitted the submission of the village to Florence, and in 1200, Castellina joint the Chianti league. Once again, though, Castellina was subject to sacks and invasions.
In 1397 Alberigo da Barbiano broke through the fortress and sacked the village. Florence ordered to Giuliano da Sangallo the reconstruction of the town walls, and thanks to those walls the village could resist the attack of the Duke of Calabria for 44 days in 1452. Unfortunately Alfonso 5th of Aragon broke through the village, and again Castellina was completely destroyed, and occupied by the troops of Francesco di Giorgio Martini. In 1483 Castellina returned under the influence of Florence. With the end of the Chianti league, in 1744, and the reformations by Leopoldo, Castellina became independent, though maintaining its vocation as the "capital of Chianti", both in geographical terms and as the heart of wine production.
Today Castellina offers to visitors an interesting landscape both from an urban and architectural point of view. Particularly worthy of note are the aristocratic palaces of the late Renaissance, which embellish the historic centre, and the church of San Salvatore, a modern structure built in Romanic style, with a fresco of the Madonna con il Bambino by Mastro Signa.
The streets of Castellina mirror the typical structure of the medieval castle, and shops offer local food products, olive oil, wine, meat, and craftsmanship products. But above all, Castellina has always been a lively village, able to suit the various historic periods that saw it as protagonist.
This is why it appears today as a town projected in the future, always attentive to the demand of tourism, and ready to offer any service necessary to satisfy this new demand.