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

Latest posts

Siena: The Legend of the Colle di Malmerenda

Malmerenda
Mysteries & Legends

Siena in the 1300s would have provided excellent material for a beautiful animated fiction. In fact, the struggles between the most pow...

View

Florence: History of the 'Bischeri' of Florence

Bischeri
Figures of speech

Bischero is one of the best-known Tuscan words. Calling someone a 'bischero' means describing them as a naive, good-for-nothing and not...

View

Siena: Poggibonsi's horse and pig

Cavallo_e_maiale
Local Traditions

Even Tuscany, like any other part of the world, has its amusing collection of folk legends. These are legends that have been handed dow...

View

Florence: The Lampredotto of Firenze, the king of street food!

Lampredotto
Did you know that...

There are dishes that count as established institutions in the tradition and culture of some cities. Here, in Florence, this role is pl...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View