The castle was built on the site of a prehistoric fortified borough and subsequent Ancient Roman settlement. Only the shielded towers of the original structure and part of the boundary walls remain, enclosing a 12th century church, the 15th century Agricola palace, mediaeval cottages and Villa Freschi Piccolomini dating from 1511. The property passed by marriage to the Freschi di Cuccanea Counts and the Piccolomini of Siena. The villa is surrounded by a romantic park created in the early 19th century by Count Sigismondo Freschi, who ingeniously exploited the defence moats, hills, boundary walls and stones from the Roman road as landscape features. This choice leads to the impression of being in a different place at every few steps, strolling under secular trees. There is a real treasure to be found at the exit to the park: a sun-shaped maze of damask roses, inviting long walks amongst inebriating scents, immersed in the light, colours and extraordinary energy of the roses. They are ancient, exclusively spring-flowering varieties, not a limiting feature but rather a virtue since they offer a unique, unrepeatable seasonal moment. When in flower, thanks to the great passion of Benedetta Piccolomini and her wish to share so much beauty, the rose garden is open to guided tours, exhibitions and conferences (19th-20th May in 2018). The park and maze are only treated with biodynamic products, with excellent results for the plants, bees, butterflies, glow-worms and birds. In the “Se Son Rose”* Emporium, next to the Cordovado Castle, it is possible to find “Se Son Rose” cosmetics made from organic ingredients wherever possible. The “Se Son Rose” Coffee Bar in the mediaeval hamlet, offers moments of enjoyable evasion where time stands still and regains its original value, with a choice of products, organic wherever possible, to delight the palette with delicate, pleasing tastes in an intimate, discreet atmosphere.
*Ed. note: the proverb “se son rose fioriranno” – literally, ‘if they are roses they will bloom' - can be translated as “time will tell”.