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Montefioralle: a village in the Chianti hills

Approximately 30 km south of Florence, on a hill above the famous wine town Greve in Chianti, lies the village of Montefioralle. Enclosed by its original walls it still resembles the medieval fortress that it once was. An important military and trading center in the Chianti region, with a large market square in the valley below. A market square that would later become the town of Greve and that would overshadow Montefioralle.

The space between the double walls of the castle was filled up with houses in later years, and also the four gateways disappeared, but entering Montefioralle feels like taking a walk in the past.

The house that once belonged to the Vespucci family is located in the circular main street on number 21, supposedly it is the birth house of Amerigo Vespucci, the discoverer of the mainland of America. The wasp (vespa) above the door is the mark of the Vespucci family.



When I visited Montefioralle in January, we were the only tourists in the village that consists of only 79 inhabitants. We met one of them on the street, a young woman who greeted us with a kind buongiorno. Nowadays you can get back to modern civilization in a matter of minutes, but in earlier times life here had a different rhythm and I wonder how many of the Medieval inhabitants of Montefioralle ever saw the walls of Florence.




Click on the photos for a larger view.

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