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Gaiole in Chianti


Gaiole is situated on a hill by the upper reaches of the River Arbia. As in other areas of the Chianti, there are traces of Etruscan and later Latin settlements. The most significant remains are those found at the Pieve of San Marcellino. One of the most interesting characteristics of this small town is the presence of several of these parish churches, like the Pievi of San Giusto in Salcio, San Polo in Rosso and Spaltenna, San Marcellino, San Vincenti well as many castles, the result of the strong feudal presence of the Firidolfi family, and used for defence, as in the case of the Castles of Montegrossi and Lecchi. One of the most famous of these is however the Castle of Brolio. Gaiole was also, because of its position, the cause of conflict between Florence and Siena. Today, as in the past, viticulture and olive growing are the main activities. The production of wine was greatly developed in this are by the Ricasoli barons, who owned the hills around the "Castle of Brolio" (1141) and, in particular to Bettino Ricasoli who, during the interruptions in his political life, enjoyed devoting his spare time to agriculture.