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Wine Festival in Impruneta, Tuscany

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Impruneta, a large prehistoric town just 14 km. south of Florence, has always been a refuge for the faithful. During human or bovine plagues, drought, wars, and persistent rainfall, the devout Florentines would rush to the miraculous picture of the Madonna dell’ Impruneta and accompany it in procession to Florence.

This town set atop a plateau, the first stop of our Chianti wine tour is famous for Chianti wine, olive oils, and its terracotta. It is home to the Basilica of Santa Maria dell’ Impruneta, and the icon Madonna and Child.

The basilica is built on a site that has been a place of worship since Etruscan times. It has two tabernacles built by Michelozzo. The Capella della Croce and the Capella della Madonna contains the works of Luca della Robbia.

A bronze crucifix by Giambologna, and the marble relief Finding of the Icon from the school of Donatello can be viewed at this basilica.

The Campanile was built in the 13th century, while its fine portico was added in 1634 through donations from pilgrims.

There are three scenic routes to choose from. The most direct is from the Piazza Michelangelo at the southern periphery of Florence driving towards Pozzolatico and following the signs to this destination.

Option 2 is through the Chiantigiana (Route 222) from Badia a Ripoli, turning right at Grassina.

And the third route starts at Porta Roma through Galluzzo towards Tavernuzze where one turns right for Impruneta.

Wine Festival in Impruneta, Tuscany

Historic Festivals

Two major festivals are celebrated here annually – the grape and wine festival held during the last weekend of September, and the agricultural fair in honor of San Luca.

The grape festival features a parade of floats related to grapes and everything about working the land. This festival is about 76 years old.

For information, call the Tourist Office, inquire about La festa dell’uva.

The agricultural fair held in honor of San Luca is held in mid-October.

Where to Stay, Eat, and Shop

Most hotels in the Chianti region tend to be small and usually are annexed to a restaurant, so finding a place to eat and sleep in in this historic town won’t pose a problem.

The Hotel La Vallombrosina for example is a moderately priced hotel with baths. Or if you prefer a B&B, the Benedetta Bianci is at Via Paolieri 26, just a little distance from the main piazza, with nicely furnished rooms and stunning views of the surrounding hills.

Want to dine with the locals? Try I Falciani at Via Cassia 245, ask for their tasty crostini ribolliti.

For souvenirs and gifts, don’t leave without dropping by the many terracotta shops in the town. We recommend Artenova at Via della Forte 76, for some terracotta souvenirs and gifts you would be proud to own.

Olive Oil and Wine Growers

If you are not pressed for time, you may want to visit one or two wine estates in the vicinity. Most of these vineyards are members of the Consorzio dei Produttori Agricoli di Impruneta. Wine tastings though, need to be scheduled in advance.

To Greve in Chianti

From Impruneta, the next stop of our Tuscany driving tour is Greve in Chianti, 16 km. further south through one of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy.