Connect with Firenze Made in Tuscany

Sign up our newsletter

Get more inspiration, tips and exclusive itineraries in Florence

Vigna Michelangelo, la prima vigna urbana moderna a Firenze
March 15, 2024

Florence's first modern urban vineyard

The project of wine entrepreneur Maria Fittipaldi Menarini, who in Bolgheri has her winery, Donne Fittipaldi, run with her four daughters

Florence's first modern urban vineyard was born just a stone's throw from the Piazzale, adjacent to the Iris garden, on the hill overlooking the Arno with a view that sweeps from Brunelleschi's dome to the hills of Fiesole, and pays homage to one of the Renaissance's most brilliant artists-Michelangelo.

The land, which faces northeast, is managed by the Fittipaldi women's farm in Bolgheri, headed by Maria Fittipaldi Menarini, who, with her four daughters Carlotta, Giulia, Serena and Valentina, launched into this project with conviction and enthusiasm. In her many trips abroad, Maria had come across the Clos Montmartre vineyard, topped by the Church of the Sacred Heart in Paris, then the Leonardo vineyards in Milan, the Tenuta Venissa vineyards on the Island of Mazzorbo in Venice, and the Villa della Regina in Turin. The idea of emulating these particular crops on their own land, located right in the center of the cradle of the Italian Renaissance, arose spontaneously, just as spontaneous as the juxtaposition with Michelangelo Buonarroti arose, not only because of the adjoining Piazzale Michelangelo but also because the latter had purchased an estate in Chianti, close to the Nectar Dei tower, later to become Fattoria Nittardi.

Maria con le 4 figlie alla loro Pineta di Bolgheri

"This vineyard also represents my childhood," Maria recalls, "when in early September, returning from vacation, I loved to pick the grapes and even some bunches for the table". Then, twenty years ago, at her residence in Bolgheri, she discovered the fascination of wine. And it was there, at that time, that the Azienda Agricola donne Fittipaldi was born. From that time, for that project, she also decided to want her four daughters beside her, who are still close to her today in carrying on the Company.

I vigneti di donne Fittipaldi a Bolgheri vista mare

A project that can enhance biodiversity and contribute to urban sustainability. The varieties were carefully chosen historically from among the most traditional Tuscan varieties, including those at risk of extinction because they are unprofitable, but of the highest quality.

I vini di donne Fittipaldi

The Michelangelo Vineyard consists of 700 vines divided as follows:

  • 300 vines are of Sangiovese, Tuscany's princely grape variety, with clones chosen in the CCL2000 selection.

  • 150 vines are of Canaiolo, also a widely planted variety in all Chianti areas, used to lend elegance and lightness to the more austere Sangiovese, but also for vintage wine with the practice of "governo alla toscana."

  • 100 vines are of Foglia Tonda, a variety grown successfully in the Val d'Orcia and the Arno Valley, which, combined with Sangiovese, gives greater robustness to the wine and greater longevity.

  • Another 100 vines are of Pugnitello, a variety that is yielding interesting results in Tuscany, and which owes its name to the characteristic shape of the cluster in the form of a small closed fist.

  • Finally, 50 vines are Colorino del Val d'Arno, also known as Abrostino or Abrusco. The name is due to its skin, which is intensely endowed with a dark red color. In autumn the leaves turn a fiery red and, with purplish-red streaks near a few nodes, offer a unique scenic effect.

You may be interested


Connect with Firenze Made in Tuscany