The village of Passignano is the starting point of our second day, leading us to discover the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo in Passignano, a historic monastery of Vallombrosan monks that has existed since the year 1000 and looks like a castle given that it was fortified over the centuries. Still today, it's surrounded by walls built in the fifteenth century and preserves many works of art including Ghirlandaio's Last Supper fresco.
Badia a Passignano and its surroundings are perfect for a lunch based on typical Chianti products. There's bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak), of course, but also ribollita (well-known Tuscan soup made with black cabbage), crostini with livers and local salami such as finocchiona.
After lunch, we move to the village of Sambuca Val di Pesa, with evidence dating to 1053 thanks to the famous castle. Here we can find the bridge of Romagliano, over which the ancient Via Regia Romana passed. The stone bridge with three arches was rebuilt in 1415, but originally dates back to 1100. For a walk in nature, we can follow the course of the river Pesa in the footsteps of San Giovanni Gualberto: the large boulders that we meet along the way reveal to us the legend according to which the devil threw these boulders at the saint, who instead made them lay gently on the ground. At the chapel dedicated to San Giovanni Gualberto, we can find the boulder on which he lay down to rest, said to have the imprinted shape of his body.
Sambuca is also an important centre for artistic craftsmanship, and is home to stores with magnificent masterpieces of hand-made jewellery.
The last stop is the Chianti Astronomical Observatory, where you can observe the sky, spot the moon and other planets. For information on guided tours: osservatoriochianti.it