Castagneto Carducci is located in the center of the Costa degli Etruschi. The toponym derives from castagno, for which Castagneto has the meaning of chestnut wood. In 1900 was added the maritime specification (i.e. of the Maremma), which in 1907 was changed in the current in honor of Giosuè Carducci, who as a child lived there for some years. The medieval castle, together with the church of San Lorenzo, form the original nucleus of the town. The history of the village, like that of other centers of the ancient Maremma Pisana, is linked to the events of the Della Gherardesca family, a link does not always pacific between this territory and the noble prosapia, difficult reports that in the course of the centuries have seen the population castagnetana fight for their rights as independent community and for the conquest of civic use.
In 754, the longobard noble Wilfrid, then become holy San Walfredo, progenitor of the Della Gherardesca family, had many possessions in Maremma and when decided to become a Benedictine monk and found the monastery of San Pietro in Palazzuolo, Monteverdi Marittimo, donated those its properties to the monastery itself; among these were including Castagneto and other neighboring territories. The bonds between the Della Gherardesca family and Castagneto continued for the whole of the medieval era; in 1161, Federico Barbarossa ufficializzò ownership of Castagnetum the Gherardesca.
On the end of the XII century, Henry VI of Swabia donated the castles around Castagneto, in addition to those Bibbona, Biserno, Campiglia and Vignale, to the town of Pisa, as recognition for help given to the emperor in conquering territories of southern Italy; therefore, the lords of the Gherardesca could enjoy the status of Captain of justice that is an absolute power on these territories. The castle of Castagneto was repeatedly attacked between 1300 and 1334 by the Gherardesca of Biserno, as a result of internal struggles between the various branches of the family; during the wars between Pisa and Florence castles of Castagneto and Bolgheri suffered damage.
Castagneto new suffered devastation because of the looting by the army of Alfonso of Aragon, King of Naples, marching toward Milan and in the fight against Florence, during these clashes was destroyed the castle of Donoratico; moreover Castagneto suffered incursions by Charles VIII of France that for to take possession of the throne of Naples saccheggiava all lands which found during its path, but experienced ambushes and also attacks by troops to the penny of Maximilian I.
With the annexation of Pisa by the Florentines in the fifteenth century, the community of Castagneto was able to take advantage of greater autonomy; was authorized to be autonomous statutes and justice was administered by an official employee directly from the same Florence; however the Della Gherardesca maintained part of ancient privileges and were in fact confirmed the lords of Castagneto, claiming the feudal benefits such as the right to hunting, fishing and the harvesting of wood from the stack. But among the population of Castagneto, which had a strong sense of independence and il casato Della Gherardesca, already starting from the XVI century had net lit hostility of which are witnesses different historical events.
In the nineteenth century, Count Guido Alberto Della Gherardesca warmed again hearts, having tried to regain possession of the other two civic, hunting and fishing in the plots of the Della Gherardesca family; the reaction that ensued was accompanied by attacks and arson to property of Count. You accentuated so the clash between the lineage and the inhabitants of the villages; the protagonist of the clashes and riots was Michele Carducci, father of the poet Giosuè, who played the profession of doctor duct Bolgheri from 1838 to 1848; and Joshua was born in Valdicastello in Versilia, but with the father moved first to Bolgheri and then Castagneto, where he lived the years of his youth remember in many of his works.
Dr Carducci, of liberal ideas, was at the head of a handful of peasants who came to the castle in which vivevono the Della Gherardesca then threatens them with rifle shots and sassaiole, therefore forcing them to withdraw in Castagneto. On 6 January 1849, with the intervention of the Grand Duke Leopold II, Count Guido Alberto was forced to distribute the "Preselle Estate" (small batches of woodland and arable land) to the inhabitants of Castagneto. As a result of the fighting the city community asked and obtained from the Grand Duke of Tuscany the change of name of matrix feudal strongly community of Gherardesca and Bolgheri was thus restored the previous designation of the inhabited area, i.e. Castagneto della Gherardesca, was then added the adjective maritime and removed the name of the family.
At the end of the century, developed new tensions and in 1907 it was decided that the name of the town lost the adjective "marittimo" by renaming the country as Castagneto Carducci, in honor of the famous poet who lived here during the years of his childhood and whose father was one of the most important opponents of feudal rights imposed by the counts of the Gherardesca.
Certainly deserve a visit the Prepositura di San Lorenzo and the Museum Archive, seat of the literary park entitled to Giosuè Carducci.
The economy of Castagneto Carducci is tied to seaside tourism, food and wine, which, especially in the summer, takes advantage of the numerous facilities of the territory. Another important resource is represented by the production of fine wines, which have made famous in the world the wine cellars of Bolgheri and surroundings. Not least the production of extra virgin olive oil.