For over 1000 years the walls of this castle have silently witnessed intrigues, fights and conspiracies; the first mention of the “curtem” of Tornano dates back to July of the year 790, the 17th of Charlemagne’s reign in Italy.
Indeed, it seems that 3 Longobard brothers named Atroald, Adonald and Adopald donated Tornano to San Bartolomeo monastery in Ripoli (Florence), founded by their great-grandfather Adonald.
On 23 January 1167, with a decree kept in the Brolio archives, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa dispossessed Warnellottus (Guarnellotto) of Tornano of his rights to Tornano and Campi Castles “pro gravibus malefici que contra nostram coronam commisit” (Guarnellotto had committed the irregularity of capturing an imperial messenger), granting them to his general, Ranieri di Berelingero.
Guarnellotto’s ferocity was renowned. Owner of the two strategic sites of Tornano and Campi, he used to watch one of the busiest roads and extort money from those travelling along it with brutal regularity. The ownership of Tornano passed to the Ricasoli Firidolfi family. Inside the walls of Tornano Castle was an ancient chapel that became a parish annexed to Pieve di San Marcellino.
In a 1427 census, the Parish of San Quirico in Tornano had 32 inhabitants split into 5 “hearths” or families.
During the two bloody Aragonese invasions of 1453 and 1477 that led to the destruction or damage of the main castles of our Chianti area (the mighty Brolio included), Tornano – true to its inaccessible place tradition – resisted the impact well and was never taken.