Sarteano Castle sits on a hilltop between Val d’Orcia and Valdichiana and towers over the medieval center of the town itself. A huge park surrounds the castle. At the moment the castle is property of the city.
The castle’s address is Via Del Forte – 53047 Sarteano (tel. +39 057820530). Opening hours: Mornings from 10.30 to 13.00. From 15 April to 30 September from 15.00 to 19.00. From 14 July to 16 August from 9pm to 11pm. From 1 October to 14 April from 3pm to 5pm. Closed: Monday. Entrance fee: Entrance fee: 3 Euro. Discounted admission price (6 to 14 years, 65+): 2 Euro. Free: Younger than 6. Combi-Ticket Archaeological Museum + guided tour tomb: 8 Euro (discount 6 Euro). Combi-Ticket Museum + Castle. Combi-Ticket museum + guided tour tomb + castle: 10 Euro. (Access to the park is free of charge).
History and description
Of the four city walls surrounding Sarteano, the one built by the Republic of Siena in the 15th century is the only one still completely intact. The two round towers on the east side are reached via a weather wall. The image of the wolf with the city’s coat of arms visible above the drawbridge refers to Siena.
The castle walls are seven meters thick in places. The ditch under the first drawbridge was filled with combustible material, whenever Sarteano was under siege.
There are very few windows and until 1699 the only access to the castle was a staircase next to the wall that led via a drawbridge to the first floor inside the walls.
Next to the iron gate at the end of the drawbridge, the coats of arms of the captains’ families who used to live in the castle ar evisible.
A secret spiral staircase led down from the top floor and was the last escape route in case the castle was overpowered. An underground corridor led from here to the countryside.
The castle already existed in 1038. In 1379, both town and castle became part of Siena. Because of its location, Sarteano was often attacked, including by Cesare Borgia (1503).
After Siena’s surrender in 1555, the town was taken over by the Medici, who made the castle more difficult to defend by burying parts under sand.
In 1617, the Grand Duke Cosimo II donated the castle to Brandimarte Fanelli, whose family continue owning it until 1998.
Today, the castle is owned by the city of Sarteano itself. After a long restoration, it was opened to the public in 2006.
What to see
The central part has four floors. From the terrace one can overlook the whole area. Antique rudimentary toilets and sinks made of travertine marble can still be seen on the floors themselves.