A medieval castle

in the middle of the Berignone forest

The castle is located on a 231-meters-high hill in the Sellate stream meets with the Botro al Rio in what is now the Berignone forest.
where the Sellate stream and the Botro al Rio river meet.
The bishops of Volterra owned it for centuries after building it in the Middle Ages. The oldest documentations of the Dei Vescovi castle dates back to 990 a.D., when it was at the center of a densely populated area. For a long time, it was an important location to control the area and for the bishops of Volterra to live in.

In the 13th century, the castle took on the role of mint for the Volterra diocese, and coins were manufactured using the silver mined in the diocese’s mines of Montieri. About 100 years later, in the 1300s, the castle went under the control of the municipality of Volterra.

It was destroyed for the first time in 1218 by soldiers of the municipality of Volterra, but it was rebuilt right away. Bishop Pagano Pannocchieschi was trapped in the castle during a siege by the Volterran soldiers in 1235, and the same thing happened again in 1267 to bishop Alberto degli Scolari.

The castle used to be made up of a fortified building in the middle, the “cassero”, the walls and one tower. Today, only a part of the tower and some fragments of the walls are still standing. From the remains, experts assume that the tower was at least 4 stories high, and there still is an underground room under the tower, which would have been a basement or a storage room. Around the walls that used to protect the castle, visitors can see some traces of the “borgo”, almost disappearing in the forest. We don’t know how big the settlement around the castle was because of the woods that covered the remains throughout the years. We also don’t know whether the “borgo” used to have walls around it as a form of protection.

Berignone Nature Reserve

Berignone Nature Reserve

Berignone Nature Reserve

Berignone Nature Reserve

Our Routes

Ideas for your walks and hikes

The Dei Vescovi Castle

Type of route: walking trail
Lenght: 7,076 Km
Level: easy

Cycling tour of the nature reserve of Berignone and Tatti

Type of route: cycling, horseback riding
Lenght: 24,506 Km
Level: medium/advanced for cycling, advanced/expert for horseback riding

Large ring route in the river’s gorge

Type of route: walking trail
Lenght: 11,870 Km
Level: advanced

Consorzio Turistico Volterra Valdicecina Valdera S.c.r.l.
Piazza dei Priori 19/20 - 56048 Volterra (PI) - PIVA 01308340502
Operation/Project allocated within the framework of the POR FESR Tuscany 2014-2020