The “Sergio Vacchi Foundation” has its headquarters on the southern Sienese hills at the Grotti Castle, which was built on an ancient Etruscan settlement.
In 1221 the tower was recalled as place of origin of Orlandino di Azzo, an active business man, and later on belonged to the patrician family named Ugurgieri until 1687.
Other news attest that it was conquered and devastated with the annex houses and the nearby Torre delle Strine by the Austrian-Hispanic soldiers during the last war against Siena and Montalcino.
In the 19th century’s the magnificent castle, whose “U”-shaped plan and shoe-shaped foundations make it look like a hybrid building between a fortalice and a palace, was transformed into a country house for the Ballati-Nerli Marquises and also embellished with tree-lined roads and gardens.
In the last century it became one of the properties belonging to the Piccolomini family. It was recently purchased and restored by the painter Sergio Vacchi with the intention to create an international centre for the arts.
In the winter 2006 the Italian garden and the English park belonging to the Foundation were restored thanks to a partial contribution of Tuscany Region: the gardens were embellished with more boxes and an unique and suggestive lightning system was able to give further prominence to the magic of this place, its rare plants growing in the park and in the 17th century’s pond.
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