1,000 Years in the Making: Etruscan Artifacts

Owners and guests at Casali di Casole, Timbers Resorts' luxury fractional property in Tuscany, are on the doorstep of a land rich in history. Both inside the castle walls and throughout its cypress-lined lanes, one is treading on old land and legendary paths. Let's turn to the old Italy — the Etruscans and then the Romans — and delve the deep waters of time that flow through this important and treasured place.

From the Past to the Present: The Museum of Casole

To find the heart of the past in Casole d'Elsa, where Casali di Casole, the archaeological holdings of the community's museum are the place to start. The museum's collection of Etruscan artifacts are in part the result of careful consideration by various owners of Casali di Casole — in a number of the castle's incarnations — donated by them and now part of a significant lens onto the artistic and cultural heritage of this area. It was 1996 when Agreste Mensano, the property's former name, began to donate to the museum the artifacts in its possession. In 2009, with the granting of the last pieces, all objects related to the Etruscan period found space within its walls. See below for a gallery of these images that are also on display in Casole d'Elsa.

Roots of History: The Castle and Surrounding Land

The visionaries who first understood that a centuries-worn building — the future Casali di Casole — could be a home, and then a treasure for others, date back to the 1800s. A family of nobles known as Bargagli, and then the Viscontis who in the 1960s brought the place into its more modern form, were careful collectors and preservers of the past. As the walls and features of the castle were restored, the pieces of history that they discovered became a part of the mission — to not only give the castle a long life, but to recognize and care for the evidence and objects of its ancestors.

"The work was long, not only for the restoration, but also for the study because experts and scholars had to go back to the different areas of excavation," says Silvia Anichini, assistant project director at Casali di Casole. Each reclaimed artifact from the grounds needed to be dated and assigned a place of origin. And as this happened, the different caretakers laid the foundations for an agreement, which brought a select few pieces back into the hotel Fireplace Room and inside the spa, where you can visit them now. Outside the castle, the journey into the past continued.

"A number of tombs have been found — more or less rich," says Anichini, "some [containing] only small objects while others contained numerous vases and urns. The whole area was full of settlements dating from the 8th Century B.C., and one of the most important places of excavation and findings is next to the bar of La Speranza" (down the road from the estate).

So, the next time you're on property, you'll know that you're sharing a path traveled for centuries and are but one of a deep lineage of peoples that have found this very place to be one of the greatest treasures that Tuscany has to offer.

To learn more about ownership opportunities at Casali di Casole, please contact us at 866.963.5005 (toll free in the US) or via email at [email protected]. Or please reach us at +39.0577.967511 (in Europe) or via email at [email protected]. For availability and reservations at Hotel Casali di Casole, please contact us at 888.927.2580 (toll free in the US) or +39.0577.961508 (in Europe) or via email at [email protected].