For Tuscany in all it’s glory, look no further than this picturesque hilltop village.
About an hour or so drive from Firenze, navigating the twists and turns of rural Italy, we reach Volpaia, our home for the next five days or so. We booked on the strength of a recommendation, and we were unsure of what to expect. But from the moment our little hire car had made it up the long hill, and into the little village square, we were immediately captivated.
Volapaia is like a mini Tuscany, and almost everything that seems to make up the magic of the region, seems to be found here, in this little slice of perfection. It’s still largely owned by one family, who’ve been here since the late 60’s, and probably very little has actually changed in all that time, and I mean that in a good way. The church and historic buildings, including the fortifications, from when this was designed to provide protection from marauders from nearby Florence and Sienna, are all immaculately maintained. The village is very compact, it would take less than 15 minutes to walk every street and alley, but it’s charm is every where.
For a start there is a great little Italian cafe / restaurant in the square, opposite the church. This family run place has been here for decades, and is presided over by a matriarch of forceful presence (and voice), and effortlessly serves up authentic home made pasta dishes, made with local ingredients. For a more upmarket, formal experience, there is also the option of a more formal restaurant, though really it’s just a bijou dining room, in the adjacent building, which showcases some of the best cooking in the region.
Then there is the wine, which of course is mainly Chianti. The Reservo and Classico are both excellent, and are served in the family cafe and main restaurant. There is a wine tour on offer, and also cookery classes (see video below), which enable you to be able to re-create some of the magic back at home.
Cooking in Volpaia
We stayed here for about 5 days, and it makes a perfect base, not only to explore the many other historic nearby towns and villages nearby, but also the major city attractions of Sienna and Florence. For more information n booking, see this link