Castello di Meleto and Brolio Castle, Gaiole, Italy

We decided to spend one day touring a few of the local castles that had wineries. We were so fortunate to have yet another lovely fall day as we made our way towards Gaiole, just a short drive away from Radda.

IMG_3311Our first stop was Castello di Meleto and we were just in time to catch a tour of the castle. The ticket price includes a session of wine tasting following the tour. http://www.castellomeleto.it/eng/farm/farm.php

A legend of the grounds…

IMG_3330This is a rendering of the Castello di Meleto

IMG_3334There was a really neat map of the region painted on the wall in one room…

IMG_3336At the bottom along the chair rail is Siena…

IMG_3341Artists would appreciate the trompe l’oeil paintings throughout the building.

IMG_3338

IMG_3346

IMG_3348

IMG_3352

IMG_3354

IMG_3358Old window glass!

IMG_3359

IMG_3362What an elaborate mantle piece!

IMG_3364

IMG_3365

IMG_3368

IMG_3370

IMG_3378The faux marbling is echoed down the chain of doors

IMG_3380Their private chapel room

IMG_3381

IMG_3383The dining room

IMG_3382

IMG_3386

IMG_3388

IMG_3395The family’s private theater is really amazing with numerous backdrop options

IMG_3396

IMG_3398

IMG_3400And modern wannabe actors can test out the accoustics and get a great photo op

IMG_3406

IMG_3408Time for some wine tasting!

IMG_3324

IMG_3414

IMG_3416

IMG_3417

IMG_3418All of their wines were good and the group that took the tour with us had made advance arrangements for a food pairing tasting, so they got to eat and drink.

IMG_3333

IMG_3322On the way back to our car for our next destination.

IMG_3431

IMG_3438Our next stop was the Brolio Castle, perched high on top of a hill a short drive away.

http://www.baronericasoli.com/

We parked at the bottom across from their restaurant, not knowing there was a parking area at the TOP of the hill at the castle gate (along with restrooms). So we got a good vertical hike along the way up this nice cobblestone path.

Brolio is more of what you would think of as a medieval fortress on the hill. I would highly recommend a visit here and plan on several hours. Their winery is at the foot of the hill, so do that AFTER your castle tour.

IMG_3450We got tickets for the outer grounds of the castle only, but you can tour the interior also. Inside the castle walls…

IMG_3458This little chapel sits in the inner courtyard and seems very plain from the outside.

IMG_3464

IMG_3465Here’s the history of the Chapel of Saint JacobIMG_3471This is just a sample of the mosaic splendor that lies inside…

IMG_3472Tiny mosaic tiles form the artistry of the chapel

IMG_3473

IMG_3475

IMG_3476

IMG_3477

IMG_3478

IMG_3479

IMG_3480I could have stared at some of the scenes for quite a while – they seem to glow with life.

IMG_3482

IMG_3483Back outside in the courtyard, the castle walls loom above.

IMG_3466

IMG_3487

IMG_3494

IMG_3495View from one corner watchtower over the countryside.

IMG_3503

IMG_3504Looking towards Siena with the gardens below.

IMG_3508The panoramic views from this vast terrace were really amazing

IMG_3511

IMG_3512

IMG_3517

IMG_3522

IMG_3523

IMG_3525

 

IMG_3528

IMG_3530

IMG_3531

IMG_3532This little guy was sunning himself on the wall and disappeared back into his hole after a bit.

IMG_3537

IMG_3539We returned to Radda hungry and decided to try the restaurant opposite the main entrance to Radda.

IMG_3268

 La Cantina di Colle Bereto has a patio seating area outside that is nice to watch traffic and people coming and going. Some days there are merchants set up in the adjacent part of the road that is next to the park. A produce merchant was there one day we came by with fresh produce and nuts.

IMG_3267We ordered a “starter” of brushetta with tomato and basil..

IMG_3545I had lasagne, which was very tasty…

IMG_3546And Wally had a ravioli dish which I sampled also and was good.

IMG_3548

IMG_3549Their indoor seating had this neat table and tree trunk stools

IMG_3551Time for a nap!

###

Categories: Travel: ITALY | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: