Tavarnelle Val di Pesa
One of the most important archaeological sites in this municipality is the parish church of San Pietro in Bossolo, a religious building situated just outside the village dating back to the 11th century. The distinctive features of this place are the church’s three naves divided by arches supported by quadrangular pillars, an ancient, monolithic, hexagonal baptismal font, a marble ciborium from 1522, and several pieces of art. Other important works of art are kept in the Museum of Sacred Art (free entrance) in the presbytery of the parish church on the first floor. Other curiosities about this place include the small museum dedicated to the old farm works and a small space dedicated to embroidery, source of inspiration for peculiar women shoes by the famous designer Ferragamo.
Bargino (San Casciano Val di Pesa)
Then we headed to the Antinori cellars of Chianti Classico in the municipality of San Casciano Val di Pesa (hamlet of Bargino). The innovative building designed by the Archea Associati architectural studio is an extraordinary feat of architecture, hidden among the olive trees, vineyards and forests of oak trees. One hour is enough to visit the cellars. It is a journey through the history of the Antinori family, which has been producing wine in Tuscany since 1385. The tour - which covers all the stages of production, starting from the vineyard to the glass – ends with the tasting of three wines.
San Donato in Poggio
The medieval hamlet of San Donato in Poggio is the next destination. Situated on the Roman road that connected Florence to Siena, the hamlet was a “castrum” in a strategic position on the top of a hill and controlled this strategic area. The village is a proper hidden gem: destroyed and rebuilt in 1289, it follows the medieval rules of fortification. It has a high wall, two main entrances to the castle (Florentine and Sienese gates), each one with a tower, and inside the castle there is a main square, Palazzo Pretorio and the public cistern. You can visit all these places and I’m sure you’ll appreciate the ancient buildings adorned with beautiful flowers, the silent streets and the surrounding landscape. There is also a small farming museum called MEF (Museo Emilio Ferrari), which displays the implements and instruments of this difficult job.
Just outside the hamlet there is a Romanesque parish church dating back to 989, where you’ll find a glazed terracotta baptismal font, attributed to Giovanni della Robbia (1513), and a triptych by Giovanni del Biondo (1375). For the rest of the evening we visited some wonderful historic villas and some typical Chianti farmhouses. There are many country houses, cellars, oil mills and ovens, and you can even enjoy a cooking class and dinner featuring freshly made products. We visited the farm of Montecchio and Podere Torricella.