In the heart of Chianti Region

    Borgo di Petrognano

    The village of Petrognano is on the green hills and vineyards round the street that takes to Certaldo from Barberino. It is a group of old houses, but if we look better, we’ll see stone towers with smart and finely decorated arches: city houses with medieval towers secluded in the countryside.

    Città di Semifonte But that’s not a mystery: Petrognano is the village that belonged to a city called Semifonte.

    Dante mentions it in the 16th canto of the Divine Comedy and he refers to its strong soldiers and wise craftsmen: “Fiorenza fatti in là, Semifon diven città”. The city was surrounded by moats, barbicans, towers and very solid walls. Now the centre is no more there, it was razed to the ground in 1202. After an epic siege and the bloody final battle of that war, the city surrendered and disappeared with its inhabitants who were sent into exile.

    In the farm there’s the old parish church of Saint Peter, then reduced to mere chapel. Inside there is still the wood crucifix from the 12th century that is now in the parish priest’s residence in Certaldo. A stone with coat of arms is walled up under the alter. This probably belonged to a valorous defender of Semifonte.

    Even after the destruction of Semifonte, in Petrognano continued through life under the protection of the Capponi family, 1343, who built the dome of St. Michele and Renaissance villa in the center of the village.

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