05 Sep As It Once Was… Castelfalfi Celebrates its Traditions
As a little girl, my favourite pastime was to accompany my grandfather to the farm. I was fascinated by how the ripe olives were picked; it stunned me how the tractor pulled the plow and loosened the earth; I was always amazed when, after all this work, the olives became oil. I was therefore admittedly moved when I learned that the origin of the farms was to be celebrated in Castelfalfi with an exhibition of agricultural machinery from the 19th century and regional agricultural products. Reason enough to waste no time and check out the whole thing.
Sounds and Smells of Tuscany
On my way to the festival, I can hear the roar of the tractors from afar. I pick up the pace – I want to see them as soon as possible! As I get closer, I’m enveloped in the typical, rural scents and enchanted by the magical landscape that surrounds me! The farm is teeming with colourful tractors; some have rusted over the years, here and there the paint is peeling off. Your owners have put the machines nicely in rank and file. They proudly start the engines, talk shop with each other, and let the children hop on. Well, to be honest, I also can’t resist and – a short time later – find myself sitting in the driver’s seat of a tractor.
Delicacies from Castelfalfi
At the Farm Festival in Castelfalfi, I discover the delights of Tuscany around every corner: At one stand there’s honey and organic olive oil from the area, another sells handmade pasta, at another there are various cheeses to taste, and of course wine – excellent Tuscan wine. The Castelfalfi estate produces six different wines: five red wines, one Vermentino, and one excellent Vin Santo.
I taste them all – the emphasis being on tasting – because after all, I want to remember the Farm Festival in Castelfalfi tomorrow. In each wine, I recognise ancient fragrances and explore them extensively with my nose. And you already guessed it, the reason there’s 2,000 years of agricultural history here in Castelfalfi: in the time of the Etruscans, the peasants in this area worked the soil diligently to win the best fruits with an unforgettable fragrance and unique aroma.
Authentic Flavours and Old Traditions
The Italian tradition seeks to bring all people together with good food and good wine, so not a single typical Tuscan dish is missing from Castelfalfi’s first Farm Festival: real home-style cooking, accompanied by Cerchiaia, a wine made from Sangiovese grapes and Poggio i Soli, a white wine that, as they say in Tuscany, “goes down like water!”
Many of the visitors are children, running around the farm with astonished eyes darting between the tractors and animals. And for me, it’s an opportunity to take a trip back to my childhood and the lifestyle of Tuscany.
For the glorious finale of the festival, all the tractors make a parade and plow a field together – an impressive sight. One by one, the farmers use their tractors to break up the soil and cultivate the fields in order to give us delicious fruit in the future as well.
Life in a Tuscan Village
The village of Castelfalfi was abandoned in recent decades and is now reviving: she lives on in the enthusiasm of the people who work there, she lives on in the eyes of the hotel guests at Il Castelfalfi who fall in love with Tuscany, she lives on in the laughter of the children who find joy in the tractors and animals.
Tuscany is a place of breathtaking landscapes and spectacular colours, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In some places in Castelfalfi, time seems to have stopped, and in others the history of the place breathes new life and creates new perspectives for the future – I can’t wait to see all this.