Badia a Passignano is a small town not far from Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, easily reachable by the SS Firenze-Siena, and represents a pleasant stop of a half day in the Chianti. As it’s located 300 meters above the mean sea level, and surrounded by green, it’s a place quiet fresh to be considered if you want to run away from the hot of the summer. All around Badia a Passignano is a protected natural area.The Abbey is very ancient: there are historical traces of it since the end of the 9th century, and witnessed a lot historical events. Even Napoleon has been here! It has been sold a lot of time, and only recently got back to the Church.
Today the town looks like a middle age Castle, with towers and walls castellated, due to the refurbishments made by a polish count who bought it back in the ‘800, before the entire structure went back under the Vallombrosa’s monks influence.
Nowadays at Badia a Passignano live together two realities: the spiritual one, hold by monks, and the wine related, managed by Antinori’s family.
The religious part consists of the old Abbey of San Michele, that is opened to tourist tours every Sunday and Monday morning; reservation is mandatory and can be made at the Information Office of Tavarnelle. Inside there are beautiful frescos of Allori, the San Giovanni Gualberto’s graves, founder of the religious order of Vallombrosa, and a huge pipe organ. Must to be visited the cloister just renovated, the Italian garden, the old kitchens with the huge fireplace, the room with the fresco of Ghirlandaio “L’ultima cena” (1476), currently under restoration. It’s possible also make a request for a spiritual retreat with the monks.
Regarding the wine aspects of the area, the Antinori family, in the 1986 bought the land surrounding Badia a Passignano and obtained the use of the old wine cellars of the castle, very captivating.
During the 2000 the restaurant Osteria di Passignano has been opened, and in 2007 has been awarded with a Michelin’s star.
In the restaurant you will have choice among the delicacies of the two chefs Mattia Barciulli and Nicola Damiani such as fresh handmade ravioli filled up with hare and fennel, or the roasted porker with mash peas; otherwise pick up the tasting menu formula, made of 5 dishes, with different wines chosen for each course (120 Euro). In the shop in front of the restaurant it’s possible taste and buy the best wines of the Antinori collection, as the well-known Tignanello, winner of many awards and often included in the list of the 10 more prestigious wines by Wine Spectator.
The restaurant is always open, for lunch and dinner, but not the Sunday. Reservation: http://www.osteriadipassignano.com/#contatti
Accommodations close to Badia a Passignano and in Chianti: http://www.tuscanyaccommodations.org/uk/Villas_in_Tuscany-6/Chianti_Villas-12/
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