The lost fortress of Querceto
and the ancient parish in the village
This ivy-covered Castle, located in the small village of Querceto, is the symbol of this enchanting hamlet, comprising just a handful of houses. Today the castle hosts a winery, and is a beautiful example of the military system existing in all the Valdicecina: an area of transit, a summary of the inland area and maritime area of Tuscany, the valley today still has many ancient castles which, in the Middle Ages, served the purpose of defense for these strategic places.
Leaving the car in the car park at the entrance to the medieval village, follow the little avenue that leads to the square where the parish church, St John the Baptist, is to be found.
Querceto castle dates as far back as to the 11th century, belonging to the diocese of Massa Marittima that later transferred it to the monastery of Monteverdi. In 1208 the latter transferred the territory of Querceto to the municipality of Volterra and since then its inhabitants became Volterra’s citizens. The buildings of the castle are today all modern, only the church still witnesses its past. Originally the church stood outside the village and was moved inside in the 12th century.
The history of Querceto is tied to that of the Ginori-Lisci family, after whom the castle, around which the village grew, is named. En fact, In the centre of the village there is the big villa Ginori-Lisci that occupies what was probably the site where the medieval castle was situated.
The building is palatial and includes several parts joined together. Topping the building is the central tower, garnished with a balcony on-brackets crowned with Guelph merlons (the Ghibelline are overturned swallow-tails), which comes to view on entering the medieval village.
In the spring and summer the walls are completely covered by an unmistakable Virginia creeper.