Chianti area: Peccioli

PeccioliPeccioli is a small town located in the countryside in Tuscany. It is close to many other villages and so it offers opportunities for small and relaxing trips or for more art aimed tour in Florence, San Gimignano or Pisa. It is perched on a hill and it maintains the old medieval structure. Watching at Peccioli from far away it is possible to detect the old bell tower of Bellincioni that dominates all the other buildings of the town. Narrow alleys, little squares and old buildings are the image of this town containing several monuments and valuable art works.

While walking throw the narrow streets visitors can admire several churches. The Church of San Verano and the church of Madonna del Carmine. Both are very old. The first one is much older and was build around the year 1100. It houses several paintings and a valuable crucifix. The second church was completed around the year 1650 and it is famous for it structure consisting a three sides porch around it.

Even if art is always a must in Italy, the atmosphere isn’t less important. Walking in a small and almost intact medieval town is like taking a step back in time. Italians are almost used to it! And that’s a shame!! Being nothing new they don’t always “see” that anymore so all that beauty is just taken for granted. Well, it is a pity!! The old facades, the arches, the tiny shops in rustic style selling fragrant bred or typical sweets are all one suspended between history and the present.

A curious thing is worth mentioning: this small village lost on the Tuscan Hills houses a peculiar museum: the Museum of Russian Icons.

Surprised? Well, I was. So far form Russia and Moscow!!! What this town has to do with Russia? The fact is that a journalist, Francesco Bigazzi, who had worked many years in Moscow, was so fond of Peccioli and admired it so much that he decided to donate to the town a collection of 60 Russian icons of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Something definitely special for a small village.

If you have children, after explaining them history and trying to teach them the idea of art, please leave the centre and go to the Parco Preistorico di Peccioli. Here they can have fun watching 20 reconstructed prehistoric animals and they can learn admiring the remains of the fossils found in this area by the founders of the park. It was the Year 1977, when the brothers Guido and Paul Ghironi, circus performers, decided to start the building of this educational park. The book Jurassic Park was released thirteen years later and the film of Spielberg 16.

Peccioli could be a good destination for spending Christmas holidays in Tuscany!