When I was a little girl I loved to watch my grandfather work on the farm. It was fascinating how they picked the olives from the tall trees; I was amazed by the tractor pulling the plough, loosening the ground; I was always astonished how, after all this hard work, the olives were turned into oil. Truly, I was moved when I heard that Castelfalfi wanted to celebrate the origins of this farm with an exhibition of agricultural machinery from the 19th century and regional produce.
On the way there, I could already hear the thunderous tractors from afar: I hurried because I wanted to see them as soon as possible! As I came closer rural scents enwrapped me and i was enchanted by the magical landscape that surrounded me! The farm was teeming with a motley crew of tractors. Some of them had gotten quite rusty over the years. The owners had ranged them perfectly next to each other. Proudly they started the engines and let the children get onto the tractors. Well, not just the children, I myself couldn’t resist either and got onto one, too. I also found delicacies in every corner at the celebration at Castelfalfi: one stand offered honey and organic regional olive oil, another one sold homemade pasta and another one again let you taste different kinds of cheese and wine – excellent Tuscan wine. The estate Castelfalfi produces six different kinds of wine. Next to their five red wines, one of which is an outstanding Vin Santo, they also produce a Vermentino white wine: I’ve tried them all: in each one of them I discerned ancient scents which I explored extensively. The reason for them is the 2,000 year old history of the agricultural roots of Castelfalfi. Already in Etruscan times farmers have industriously worked the soil of this region to harvest the best fruits – along with their unforgettable scent.
Italian tradition wants to bring everyone together with good food and good wine. Therefore no typical Tuscan meal was missing from the celebration at Castelfalfi: true home-style cooking, accompanied by the Cerchiaia, a wine from Sangiovese grapes and the Poggio I Soli, a white wine which the Tuscans would describe as „smooth as silk“.
I thought I had seen enough but at the end of the Sunday the farmers held a parade with all the tractors and together they ploughed a field. One after another they loosened the ground, they prepared the soil that would gift us its delicious fruits. Many of the visitors were children; with shining eyes pursued the tractors and farm animals. I thought to myself: what a wonderful opportunity to get to know this region.
The village Castelfalfi had been virtually abandoned in the past few decades and is now about to witness its revival: revitalised by the enthusiasm of the people working there, revitalised by the enamoured eyes of the guests of the resort, revitalised by the laughter of delighted children. Tuscany is a place of scenery and spectacular colours and Castelfalfi seems to be far away from hectic everyday life. In Castelfalfi time appears to stand still to watch over its historical beauty.