Let me Preface this post by saying that I am a self-proclaimed Art & History Nerd. I have studied a wide range of historical periods of Europe. Everything from the Czars of Russia, and the Habsburgs of Austria, to the Kings of England and France. But I am especially fond of the Italian Renaissance.
My visit was in 2015, so I needed to refresh my memory with a review of the history of Castello di Trebbio, before sharing a post with you about our experience there. That was when I discovered something that blew my mind. I remembered that during our tour our Guide had told us a story about a plot that had been formulated within one of the interior rooms of the castle. He said that it ended up very badly for the castle owner and his family.
What I did not connect at the time, was that it was the PAZZI family! They were part of a huge Conspiracy to assassinate the Medici brothers in order to become the controlling Family in Florence. Many high-ranking people were involved even as far up as the Pope himself. It was a key event during that time period. Since I had not yet read about the Pazzi Conspiracy at the time that we visited, it did not click until now that Castello di Trebbio had been part of the Pazzi family property.
The Castle of Trebbio boasts a glorious past: among these austere rooms, in fact, a piece of Florentine history has been completed.
The central nucleus was built by the noble family of bankers de ‘Pazzi in 1184, and expanded in the following centuries.
But we come to the famous historical episode: in 1478, among these rooms was the famous “Congiura de ‘Pazzi” with which the family – longtime rival of the Medici – wanted to eliminate the great adversaries under the command of the city, assassinating Lorenzo de’ Medici . In order to dethrone Florence, the pontiff – Sixtus IV – and the Duke of Urbino – the enlightened Federico da Montefeltro also seemed to be involved.
As told per Castello di Trebbio
The Pazzi Conspiracy
The attack took place in the Duomo during Mass on April 26, 1478. The Conspirators were successful in assassinating Guiliano di’Medici, however, his wounded brother Lorenzo escaped. After the attack was over, Florence rallied behind an enraged and wounded Lorenzo, demanding that justice be served. Most of the Conspirators were captured and publicly hung. You will find many renderings from the likes of DaVinci and Sandro Botticelli depicting the gruesome scenes of the hanged Conspirators.
The Pazzi family were all either hung, arrested or banished from Florence. All of their lands and property were confiscated. The Pazzi name and coat of arms were perpetually suppressed. Their shield with its dolphins was obliterated everywhere. Well……Almost everywhere!
I photographed this surviving Pazzi Crest at Castello di Trebbio
Our Visit to the Castello di Trebbio
Not everything was as dire as the story of the Pazzi Conspiracy. When starting from Florence, you take a gorgeous winding drive through the Tuscan hills before arriving at the castle. They produce wonderful Chianti wines and delicious Olive Oil on the property as well as cultivating saffron. During our visit, we were treated to a in depth tour of the castle including the wine cellar and Conspiracy chamber.
Chianti Getting Happy in a barrel in the Castello di Trebbio Wine Cellar
After our property tour, we were treated to an authentic Tuscan feast in the Dining Hall. The Proprietor took us through olive oil and wine tastings as we consumed course after course of heavenly food. Bottles of their lush Chianti wines were set on the table for all to enjoy. At the end of our meal we were given small glasses of sweet Vin Santo wine with our dessert.
Buying Treasures of Wine and Olive Oil
Once we had completed our dinner, we had time to visit a shop where we could buy their wine and olive oil. I brought home several bottles of wine along with a tin of olive oil. Treasures to share and to enjoy back home.
Planning a Visit to the Castello di Trebbio
Vintage Equipment in the Courtyard
In addition to a day tour like ours, you can also plan to stay on site in one of their apartments or villas. They have 5 apartments and 2 villas with a garden and a private pool. They offer Cooking Classes, Wine Tastings, Olive Oil Tastings, a Saffron tour, Picnics and even Guided Hikes.
You can also plan a Wedding there complete with the reception feast and rooms for your guests. From late October through November you can participate in the Olive Harvest where you will follow the process from harvest to crushing to make oil.
A Beautiful View of the Tuscan Hills through the Courtyard Gates
I think that Castello di Trebbio has much to offer to someone who wants to mix some history with authentic Tuscan products, or just have a wonderful meal and experience in the hills of Tuscany.
I am looking forward to my next visit there (because now I HAVE to go back)….maybe I will even stay in one of the villas!
Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure!