Storia della Cucina Italiana Ristoranti Chianti The Legend

Tuscany Tuscany

Chianti

The Legend


At Panzano, a few kilometres from the town, an oratory testifies to a cult which made, towards the middle of the XII century, Saint Eufrosino patron of Chianti, who came here from his native Cappadocia and at the end of his troubled life spent evangelising to many people and also to the inhabitants of these places, was also buried there.
To Saint Eufrosino there has been attributed many miracles, above all events tied to the miraculous from a well provided by a spring near to the oratory and until the end of the 1800’s was a goal for pilgrims that joined together from distant places of Tuscany.
But if the legend of Saint Eufrosino is very old and was perpetrated in years and centuries ago, it is however true that there are also origins of legendary narratives found in more recent times. Let us think of the relative story of the “Iron Baron”, Bettino Ricasoli (1809-1880), so called for his hardness of character that manifested itself not only to his workers but also to his family. He was a dictator in Tuscany in 1859 and in the name of Vittorio Emanuele II prepared the annexation of Piemonte and successively twice took the position of Prime Minister. On his death it is said, that, while watching the funeral ceremony in the family church of the castle of Brolio, a strong wind flung open doors and windows and tipped over four wax candles that stood at the corners of the catafalque and these were immediately spent. This seemed to come from a supernatural force signifying the excommunication inflicted on the baron by those religious orders that he had supressed and for confiscating numerous ecclesiastic goods. In the Middle Ages in fact the rite of excommunication fortold that four wax candles would be put out by being overturned violently to the ground as a sign of the loss of Divine Light and condemnation to the shadows of hell.
From that moment the spectre of the Iron Baron began to manifest itself everywhere on foot or on horseback, in the park and on the ramparts of the castle with great noise and wrecking.
To exorcise this presence a Capuchin Friar was called who asked for a second burial ceremony during which, while the coffin was brought in on the shoulders of the bearers it became heavier and heavier, again the strong wind blew that was placated only thanks to the exorcism that helped to chain the spirit of the Baron to some bushes a short distance from the castle. Still today it is there that the Baron - so it is said - continues to manifest with frightening howling and with noise of horses and the wheels of a carriage.


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