While admiring Rufina’s landscape, you’ll find your gaze following the rows of vines down the hill. Olive trees also feature, and there are only fields and more fields to interrupt the stunning views, with that magic that creates wheat, changing colors from week to week. Rufina produced high-quality wine for centuries: in 1716 Cosimo III dei Medici officially named it as one of the four Tuscan areas that produce fine wines.
At the roots of its typical wine production is a story enveloping the entire area and told by the Museum of Vine and Wine of Villa Poggio Reale. The elegant 16th-century building, surrounded by a pleasant park, is also home to a collection by the Florentine artist Marco Romoli. The Villa is surrounded by a large park open to the public with a wood, Ragnaia, which includes a plot of vineyards and vegetable gardens, as well as a play area for children.
In the hamlet of Castiglioni, the Parish Church of Santo Stefanois a must-see. Despite various renovations, it’s maintained its Romanesque appearance. The building is an example of typical Florentine countryside architecture, with stylistic elements of the Lombard culture and the paleochristian tradition.
A short distance from the hilly landscapes of Rufina, our journey in the Florentine area continues towards Londa, a characteristic village established around Etruscan times. In addition to the lake, an artificial basin built in the late 60s on the waters of the Rincine stream, Londa boasts incredibly valuable agricultural production. The Regina Peach, a delicious and late variety, is grown here. It’s honored every year in September with a village festival.
If you’re looking for authentic products and flavors head to Pontassieve: the countryside is home to a mix of tradition and innovation, with organic and biodynamic farms, holiday farms and private farms.
Pelago, on the other hand, offers natural beauty. Its hills are covered with rich woods and mushrooms. In the small village of Raggioli, for example, you’ll find yourself immersed in the harmony between man and nature in such places. Take a stroll through its stone alleys, breathe its medieval atmosphere and allow yourself to be fascinated by the perched houses, once home to woodcutters, charcoal burners and farmers.
If you happen to be passing through this part of Tuscany in autumn, count yourself lucky. This is when the community gathers for Bacco Artigiano, an event that involves the bacco by paying homage to it with a procession. The Carro Matto, an agricultural vehicle pulled by Chianina oxen, leaves from Rufina and reaches Florence loaded with 1500 flasks. The wine is then blessed in the Duomo’s churchyard and symbolically donated, as it was in the past, to the Florentine community.
Typical dishes and products
The soil and climate form the basis of one of the most fragrant Chianti, which can age up to thirty years: DOCG Chianti Rufina. These hills give you the chance to meet local producers and immerse yourself in the scents and ruby tones of this celebrated drink. The wine is also a fundamental ingredient in the Chianti stew, a historic Tuscan recipe requiring the meat to be slow-cooked.