Feel the Ancient Castle Energy
San GimignanoÂ (orÂ SangiinÂ local parlance) is an ancient walled city with impressiveÂ Game of ThronesÂ like towers spanning up to the heavens. The town is located atop a mountain overlooking a 360 degree view of serene picturesque landscapes, which amplifies its gravitas and sheer elegance. Although most of the original 72 towers have not withstood the test of time, the city is still very much intact and a handful of towers still reign over the city in a majestic regal fashion.
We stumbled upon thisÂ castle onlineÂ and were instantly drawn to it. Since we were travelling to a fable-like city, we felt compelled to stay at a castle that is over 1,000 years old. One of our favorite facets of Europe is the venerable spirit that permeates throughout the historic cities. One can intensely feel the energy of a city and the structures that have absorbed so much history over thousands of years. We thought a castle of this timeworn magnitude would be cool, unique and overflowing with these vibes.
The castleâ€™s proprietor name is Costanza, a sweet and insightful opera singer and teacher whose ancestors have passed down the house to her over the past millennium. She possesses a warm and endearing persona that really touched us. The place is shrouded in beautiful art and history that is a pleasure to lose yourself in. We loved conversing with her and learning about the palazzoâ€™s history. She even took us to Parque Rocca to gaze at the gorgeous sunset.
Her palace is called Palazzo Moronti Ciotta and dates back to the 10thÂ century!! It is located in the most ancient section of San Gimignano, right in the middle of town. The external part of the palazzoâ€™s perimeter incorporates a wall that was the original wall of the city before it grew to the walled city it is today. The complex was formed by various additions over the past millennium. The modern restorations did not really start until the â€˜80s. Grazia Maria Lolli Ciotta, an extraordinary art historian, restorer and painter, discovered and refurbished a plethora of pictures, mosaics and architectural elements in the palace.
The castle was also a Romanesque church back in the XI century and includes two towers, one made of stone and the other of brick. It was so enthralling to stay here and sit on historic furniture and see the old school stoves and mosaics that previous inhabitants utilized centuries ago. The castle also offers a breathtaking view of the countryside.
It was a very unique and gratifying experience to stay at the Palazzo. We could really sense and feel the history and loved how different it felt from anywhere else we have ever been.