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La torre di Pogni vista da Marcialla, Barberino Val d'Elsa, Firenze. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Pogni Castle: the remains of a medieval fortification

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The Castle of Pogni, known in the past with the name of Pogna, was one of the most important advanced fortifications of the city of Semifonte in the Val d’Elsa. Semifonte was the most important castle of the feudal family of the Counts Alberti. This castle was the last imperial fortification to be defeated by the municipality of Florence in 1202.


The first news of the existence of the castle of Pogni is dated 1059. Its fortifications being property of the Counts Alberti were besieged and conquered by the Florentines in 1184. In this battle also Count Alberto was captured, he was consequently ordered to destroy all the fortification works of the castle with the exception of the building “totum castellum de Pogna excepto palatium cum turri” furthermore the destruction of all the towers of nearby Certaldo “omnes turres et de Certaldo” was ordered. However, the promise was probably not kept because a bull from the beginning of the 13th century confirmed the possession of Pogni by the Counts Alberti.

Shortly after, in 1202, with the destruction of Semifonte, the family of the Counts Alberti lost all power in the area whose dominion passed under the direct control of Florence. Pogni seems to have survived because the documents testify to its destruction in 1312 by the troops of Arrigo VII. In 1382, its fortifications were reactivated, for a short time, by the Florentines. Afterwards the castle was abandoned.

Even today the ruins of the Castle of Pogni remain on a hill overlooking the Elsa valley. A partially demolished tower is the main visible ruin, around the tower there are also the remains of some structures partially hidden by vegetation. The tower of Pogni can be visited starting from the town of Marcialla, which overlooks the whole Val d’Elsa. From Marcialla it is necessary to take the road to Tavolese and then turn left along the road to Pogni.


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