The villa and the “borgo” of Pignano
with two separate old centers
The ancient Pignano Castle has a long history, and there have been many disputes over it over the years between Volterra and San Gimignano because of its location. It first was built as a “borgo” with walls and a castle in the early Middle Ages. It was owned by Count Ranieri of the late Ugolino dei Pannocchieschi before he gave it over to the bishop of Volterra on January 19th, 1139. Its parish church, named after Bartholomew the Apostle, is mentioned in the 1275 “Rationed Decirum”.
At the time of Volterra’s synod of 1356, the parish church of Pignano ruled over 7 other churches: San Giovanni d’Ariano, San Lorenzo di Cellole, Santi Ippolito e Cassiano in Sensano, Santi Jacopo e Cristofano ni Spicchiaiola, San Vittore in Castro Populi and the church of Lippiano.
The “borgo” is made up of two old centers: the Ponente farm, which includes the villa and a few farmhouses which one can access through a small arch in the walls; and the Levante farm, located on the East side of the walls and architecturally less interesting. The town had its own cemetery, which is still visible but in ruins.
Today, the whole “borgo” is occupied by the resort Borgo Pignano, where mostly foreign tourists go to look for peace and calm..