Hidden treasures

'The Galletto of Chianti' and the centuries-long dispute between Siena and Florence

Did you know that...

'The Galletto of Chianti' and the centuries-long dispute between Siena and Florence

As many of you will know, especially lovers of good wine, Galletto Nero (literal black small cockerel) is the symbol of wines produced in Tuscany by the Chianti Classico Consortium. What you may not know, however, is the peculiar story behind its origin. Before mentioning it, however, it should be remembered that Chianti is an area that in the past was divided between two cities with a centuries-long rivalry: Florence and Siena. For this reason, succeeding in imposing one’s symbol meant not only having taken control of the majority of the production territory, but also undisputedly securing an image of vindication in the local rivalry.

But let's get to the point: how did the icon of Galletto Nero come about? Legend has it that after countless skirmishes between Siena and Florence to control the Chianti region, an agreement was reached: at first cockcrow, in the presence of witnesses from the opposing faction, a representative from each city would set off on a horse: the meeting point of the two knights would have defined the borders of the Chianti region, with the purpose of dividing the area into more or less equal parts. But unfortunately things went differently ...

While Siena force-fed their white cockerel convinced he would have had extra energy to wake up very early in the morning and crow, Florence kept their black rooster on short rations. So, at dawn on the chosen day, the latter crowed very early, stricken by hunger pangs, while the white cockerel woke up much later, numbed by the meal of the previous day, with the Florence knight having already covered a long stretch of the way. As a consequence, the encounter took place a short distance from Siena, reportedly in the village of Fonterutoli, near present-day Castellina in Chianti.

It is in the memory of this fabled event that the wine produced in the disputed region came to be represented by the black rooster, the undisputed protagonist of the story, which allowed Florence to seize control of these precious lands.

Interesting, don’t you think? Now that you know the story of the Chianti symbol, you just have to taste it! Choose one of our tours in the Chianti hills  and look forward to breath-taking views and exquisite delicacies!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Tuscany: 'Buco pillonzi', all of Tuscany’s irreverence in a witty expression

Figures of speech

People who speak Tuscan dialect are known for aspirating their c’s. But this isn’t the only peculiarity and, as a matter of fact, w...


Pistoia: Where does the name of the Ospedale del Ceppo in the city of Pistoia come from?

Mysteries & Legends

Ospedale del Ceppo undoubtedly counts among the many masterpieces that the delightful city of Pistoia has to offer. What fascinates tou...


Florence: The 'Rificolona': a funny name tracing back to the mischievous spirit of Florence’s people!

Local Traditions

Lanterns are now very fashionable and are used at parties and weddings. Florence, however, has always been ahead of time, so much so th...


Florence: In Florence people are known to be a 'short arm'!

Braccio Fiorentino_2
Historical Curiosities

How many times have you heard the expression 'avere il braccino corto' (lit. to be a short arm)? Many I guess. You will also then know ...


Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...


Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...


Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...


Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...