La Via di Castiglioni: an open-air museum
La Via di Castiglioni is a historical and naturalistic path in the heart of Montespertoli and is considered a true open-air museum due to the numerous points of archaeological, artistic, and cultural interest along the route, between Montegufoni and Castiglioni. These points include a plaque in honor of the partisan Settimo Agostini and the small chapel near Villa Frescobaldi. The path winds along the ridge that separates the valleys of the Pesa and Virginio streams, in a hilly area that has been inhabited since Roman times, serving as a connection point with Etruscan trade routes and, in the Middle Ages, with the Via Francigena.
In the vicinity lies the renowned Montegufoni Castle. Originally owned by the Acciaiuoli family since 1160, it was enhanced in the 17th century with an Italian-style garden and floral decorations inside. In the 20th century, it became the residence of George Sitwell, who commissioned Gino Severini to fresco the interiors. During World War II, the castle became a secure refuge for numerous artworks from the Uffizi Gallery, including Botticelli’s “La Primavera,” Ghirlandaio’s “L’Adorazione dei Magi,” and Giotto’s “Madonna di Ognissanti.”
The Castiglioni Way invites exploration and understanding of a landscape undergoing continuous transformation, reflecting the various uses by human communities throughout history.