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

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'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

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