Another important place to in Castelnuovo Berardenga, is the ‘Santuario di Maria del Patrocinio a Castelnuovo
Berardenga’. The Sanctuary of Maria del Patrocinio was built in 1680 in a Latin cross formation from Travertine
blocks and used to house a terracotta ‘Virgin and Child’. This statue is now in the Church of Campagnia but the
‘cult’ of the virgin has been associated with Castel Nuovo Berardenga since the medieval period and especially
when thanks were offered in 1367 when the walls of the town were built to defend against looting during from
Florentine forces. There have been many attributed miracles associated with the Sanctuary, one of the last
occurred in 1944 when a tactical military error allowed British forces to oust the Germans in the area before they
were able to detonate the mines they had planted.
So many churches in the area …..another Church not to be missed in Castelnuovo Berardenga is ‘Santi Giusti
e Clement’ with its façade of Columns, designed and built in the years 1843-46 by Agostino Fantastici, (Mr
Fantastic, literally!) for the Conte Saracini. The church was built in the form of a Greek cross and has many
works of art within from Giovanni di Paolo, Andrea Niccolò, Alessandro Casolani and Ventura Salimbeni
Architect Fantastici is also responsible for the ‘Parco Romantico’, the romantic park on the nearby Arceno Estate
built for the Villa d’Arceno along English Landscape ideals.
In the town with its impressive walled gardens is the ‘Villa Chigi Saracini’. A stunning example of early 19th
century Italian architecture, designed by Galgano Saracini, its first owner. Its unique character is the influence
of its last owner, Count Guido Chigi Saracini, the musician, philanthropist and founder of the Chigiana Music
Academy, in Siena, one of the world’s foremost music schools. The park that surrounds the Villa was designed
by Agostino Fantastici in 1834, along with an arched bridge and a Greek temple set within a circular lawn. The
park is also noted for the manner in which the trees and planting have been set out according to the shades of
The park was modified in the twentieth century by Count Guido Saracini, who put statues in the
grounds to create a pantheon to music. This included a column dedicated to Michelangelo Buonarroti by the
sculptor Tito Sarrocchi, and a large marble fountain.
If museums are more your thing, there is the interesting ‘Museo del Paesaggio’. A museum of landscapes in
Castelnuovo Berardenga with an important collection of local paintings and sculptures. Apart from its collection
of ancient artefacts found in the area from Etruscan times, what is special about this museum is that it is created
around an idea rather than a theme, namely the idea of ‘landscapes’. The aim is to stimulate the visitor to reflect
on and think about the reality of the world and how it can be presented through landscapes.
Other notable places to visit while in the territory of Castelnuovo Berardenga are churches such as ‘Certosa di
Pontignano’, ‘Chiesa di San Pietro’ in Cerreto or ‘Monastero di San Salvatore’ in Montebona. Other Magnificent
and beautiful villas to see are, ‘Villa Avanzati’, ‘Villa di Aiola’, and ‘Villa di Monaciano’.