Hidden treasures

The ghost of Barone di Ferro in Gaiole in Chianti

Mysteries & Legends

The ghost of Barone di Ferro in Gaiole in Chianti

Tuscany, and in particular the Chianti region, just like Scotland is full of ghosts that haunt more or less cheerfully villages and castles. Gaiole in Chianti, the delightful village in the province of Siena, is no exception and is guarded between the walls of the Castle of Brolio, which also guard the ghost of a truly illustrious character. It is the so-called 'Barone di Ferro’ (the Iron Baron), at his time known as Bettino Ricasoli born in 1808 and died in 1880. Long story short, he is the one who invented the 'formula' of Chianti wine and founded the newspaper 'La Nazione'. The name derives directly from his way of being: tough, intransigent, harsh and strict. To give you the idea who we are talking about, bear in mind that he had forbidden religious worship of the Virgin Mary to replace it with Sant'Isidro: the saint of farmers who preached obedience to one’s master! Trouble would arise if an effigy of the Virgin Mary was found in your house! He also apparently counted the peaches on the trees and the grapes of his vines to make sure that farmers hadn’t taken away anything from his harvest.

His desire to control everything, however, was also the cause of his death! During an attempt to tame a mare that refused to be saddled, in an attempt to whip her, his already sick heart began to surrender. He managed to reach his rooms where he did not want anyone to visit and where he died alone. A good amount of time passed before he was buried because it was necessary to wait for the prefect to arrive. Legend has it that even after the funeral, the coffin could not be buried: once buried, the next morning it had been unearthed, so much so that to be sure that the baron would never come back to life it was necessary to throw it down a deep cliff . But it was not so! The ghost of Barone di Ferro is often spotted in Chianti: in his room of the castle of Brolio where he enjoys to mess around with blankets or, on full moon nights, when he goes around the countryside wrapped in a black coat and chased by a dogsled team.

It's a very interesting story. Isn't it? If you love mysteries and are intrigued by ghosthunting, take advantage of one of our tours in Chianti and keep your eyes open: you never know, you might even end up meeting the Baron of Iron!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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