Castellaraccio of Monteverdi lies on a hilltop at 203 meters above the sea level. Nowadays it appears as a deserted medieval village, with few structures still visible in the vegetation. It faces the river Ombrone and overlooks the ruined Medieval bridge connecting the NW shore to Sasso d’Ombrone.
The castle was first recorded during the mid 12th c. AD when it was part of the large estates of the Monastery of Saint Salvatore of Giugnano (Roccastrada, GR) and of the Abbey of Saint Lorenzo all’Ardenghesca.
In AD 1202 it entered the fiscal regime of the Commune of Siena and the church of Saint George is mentioned. It is at this moment that the Monastery of Saint Salvatore of Giugnano (and its estates) were transferred to the Abbey of Saint Galganus. Twenty-five massiritie were recorded by Siena in AD 1278, while two years after the Abbey of Saint Lorenzo sold its proprieties to Siena (2/3 of the settlement). In AD 1294 Ugolino di Rustico’s sons bought the estate belonging to the Commune of Siena, while at the end of the same century the Abbey of Saint Galganus sold its third to Niccolò di Bonifazio Bonsignori. In AD 1297 the Bonsignori family gave in its properties to Siena; however, the castle is at this stage abandoned and ruined as it is described as destructus et nullus habitat in eodem. In AD 1320, the castle and its belonging rural houses were part of the Commune of Paganico.
The archaeological research
The site of Castellaraccio will be under archaeological investigations from 2017. Archaeology aims to understand the extension of the settlement, its urban plan and the chronology of use. Given its strategic position and the early abandonment of the settlement, the site should preserve also early Medieval phases not recorded in the written sources.