Florence’s New Urban Vineyard

Vigna Michelangelo

There’s another Michelangelo in Florence, Vigna Michelangelo, a new urban vineyard. Reviving a medieval tradition, the vineyard, the first planted in modern times, is perched on a hill right next to Piazzale Michelangelo, overlooking the city’s skyline and the historic district of San Niccolo.

The vineyard is meant to replicate Florence ‘s original urban landscape, which once comprised patches of countryside parallel to medieval streets.  The presence of nature in Florence was recorded and celebrated by some of the city’s most famous native sons, including Lorenzo the Magnificent, and Michelozzo.  The soil of Vigna Michelangelo is comparable to the terroir of Chianti Classico.

The 700 plants form a garden, where visitors will be able to walk and see different Tuscan grape varieties: 300 are Sangiovese, 150 Canaiolo, 100 Foglia Tonda, 100 Pugnitello, and 50 Colorino del Valdarno. These traditional Tuscan vines will bear grapes and be ready to harvest in 2027. It is estimated that 700 bottles will be obtained from barrel ageing, all of which will be auctioned off for charity according to the owner, Maria Menarini Fittipaldi.

Maria Fittipaldi and her four daughters, Valentina, Carlotta, Giulia, and Serena, all manage the vineyard, in conjunction with the Donne Fittipaldi winery in Bolgheri. Menarini said that the purpose of the vineyard is not just the wine but the relationship between Florence and nature. Via della Vigna Vecchia and Via della Vigna Nuova are two streets located in the city center where two vineyards were formerly located. Today, Via della Vigna Vecchia retains some its ancient, secluded character, Via della Vigna Nuova, on the other hand, is full of people, shops and boutiques. 

(Sophia Koch)