sign in for free to It's Tuscany, discover the beautiful territories of Tuscany, its products and its typical
Private entity
 Subscribe to the newsletter to receive offers on products and news from the territories
By submitting this form you agree to the processing of the personal data above, for the function of the requested service, the data will be protected according to the Decree n 196 of 30 June 2003 Legislative Decree No. 196 of 30/06/2003
 * By ticking the box you agree to  Terms and coditions  of It's Tuscany



The ghost of the Iron Baron

Tuscany, like the Scottish highlands, a land of castles and ghosts

Everyone remembers the Baron Bettino Ricasoli as the inventor of the formula of Chianti Classico wine, founder of the newspaper "La Nazione" and as well as president of the Council in 1861 of the newborn Kingdom of Italy but around his controversial and lively figure rotates a disquieting legend, he is in fact the most famous Ghost in Tuscany.

Also known by the nickname "Iron Baron" for his tough and uncompromising character, it is said that his spirit still dresses the Castello di Brolio, owned by the family, in Gaiole in Chianti.

The story

On the evening of 23 October 1880 house servant Ricasoli discovered the lifeless body of the Baron, suffered a heart attack as a result of heart failure that had long since been diagnosed. His body was not immediately buried, awaiting permission from the prefect of Siena, and already in this waiting period began to circulate rumors about sightings of the Baron within and around the Castle.

Other disturbing events were recorded on the day of his funeral, when odd gusts of wind blew open and close violently and suddenly and when transporting the casket, so heavy as to seem full of stones. The tales they want, after the priest had spoken phrases in Latin by practicing an exorcism, the coffin was shot again. It was following this singular episode that everyone started to believe that the soul of the Baron was damn.

Buried several times during the day, the coffin was always found resurfaced the next day. At the time there was a belief that the damned souls were confined to a safe place; the body of Barone Ricasoli was then buried in a ravine called Borro dell’Ancherona. From that moment began an endless series of sightings of the ghost of Ricasoli, by the peasants who were awakened at night by the grin of Bettino intent to fix them or the servants Ricasoli home who found every morning the sheets of the room of the baron always out of place..

The consecration of the legend about the ghost of the Baron

In 1965, the reporter of Corriere della Sera Renato Polese spent one night at the castle to write on the ghost of Bettino Ricasoli that, according to accounts of the correspondent for the newspaper, came to meet before the stroke of midnight. Article by Polese on his meeting with the Baron consecrated legends that have long circulated about the inventor of the Chianti wine making it so even Italy's best known spectrum.

Whatever the legend that animates these places, Chianti is one of the areas of Tuscany which is well worth a visit and the Castello di Brolio, dating back to the 11th century, is one of the musts in a tour of the region.