Montespertoli is in the hills about 25 km southwest of Florence. The nearest train station is Castelfiorentino. The airports in Pisa and Florence are both perfectly situated for visiting this town which is abundant with churches built between the 13th and the 16th century. There are also three small castles in the area with much history to offer.
The fortified village of Borgo Lucardo still has its medieval town gate and retains its original structure. Records of the town date back to the 8th century, but not much more is known about its origins. After the battle of Montaperti between Florence and Siena in 1260, the victorious Ghibellines captured the Guelph Lucardo and destroyed everything. Within the stronghold you can visit the churches San Martino and San Giusto, the latter of which was built in 1093 and restored in 1764.
Read more about Montespertoli
The stronghold Castello di Poppiano, which belongs to the aristocratic Guicciardini family, was built in the 14th century. The Maramaldos laid siege to it when they attacked Florence in 1529-30. It later suffered damage during an earthquake but the stronghold and its towers were subsequently restored in the 19th century. Today you can visit the town to buy local produce such as wine, olive oil, cold cuts, cheese and other delicacies.
On the left-hand side of the road to Florence is Castello Montegufoni. After having been destroyed by the Ormanni family in 1135, it was rebuilt by Gugliarello Acciaroli from Brescia. This is the birth town of the great merchant and politician Niccolo Acciaioli, one of Giovanni Boccaccio’s arch enemies and the sponsor behind the sumptuous La Certosa monastery, which stands high in the landscape close to Florence. In 1369 a tower was added reminiscent of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The current design dates back to the 17th century, when a beautiful garden with artificial caves and strange fountains was created. Today it is used as a conference centre and for wedding parties.