Hidden treasures

Strozzavolpe Castle in Poggibonsi and its bizarre ghost

Mysteries & Legends
Strozzavolpe

Strozzavolpe Castle in Poggibonsi and its bizarre ghost

Near Poggibonsi, a small town between Siena and Florence in upper Val D'Elsa, there is a beautiful castle with protective walls and a majestic stone arch. It is a castle with a rather bizarre name: Strozzavolpe (Italian for ‘fox strangler’). Like every ancient castle it is surrounded by a great aura of mysteries and legends and also, as expected, a ghost that haunts it. But this time it is not about a gentle damsel cruelly murdered, nor a knight killed in a duel....so.....do you want to have a guess? The name immediately reveals it to us: the scary presence that seems to roam around in the proximity of the castle is surely a fox. How did this particular legend originate?

It all began around 1100 when Bonifazio, Duke and Marquis of Tuscany, decided to build his castle exactly on the hill above the valley of the river Staggia. Two servants, dispatched to search the area, returned terrified, telling of a huge fox that had come out of the woods and attacked them. At the beginning it was thought to solve the problem with the classic fox hunt. But it proved to be not that simple. Not only did the animal escape from the more experienced huntsmen, it also spit fire and flames from its mouth in the guise of a dragon. In the end, it was the Duke who managed to kill it by setting a trap and then strangling it with a rope. And there you have it... the origin of the bizarre name of this castle.

The duke’s problems, however, contrary to what you might think, were far from over! Only at the death of the fierce fox the court wizard, in fact, told him that the castle would only last until the moment the animal’s body would be covered by worms. You can figure out the discomfort of the poor Duke who, however, did not lose heart and devised a trick: the fox was embalmed and its body filled with nothing less than gold. It was hidden in a secret place and seems to have generated more mysterious stories that tell of the treasure of the Strozzavolpe castle. But this is a different story... and we will tell you about it another time. Meanwhile, if you like castles with old charm and mysteries, we recommend our Tour of the castles of Chianti with traditional lunch and wine tastings: you will visit the wonderful Brolio Castle and discover the ghost that also in this case wanders among its rooms. Who is that? Book the tour and you will find out!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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