Let us introduce you to the world of terracotta. We will guide you through amazing landscapes to discover and learn everything about the traditions and culture of this unique, wonderful land. We will do our best to make your virtual tour as "real" as possible by letting you watch, learn, smell and taste things as if you were there. Choose a subject from the menu above and enjoy your trip.
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Impruneta is just 14 Km from Florence and 6 Km from Freeway A1 exit "Firenze Impruneta".
From the Florence railway station of Santa Maria Novella you can catch a Bus and be in Impruneta in around 45 minutes
I Buondelmonti (Italian)
From the blue clays to the end result
From the clays that give rise to Impruneta terracotta: light blue/grey "argille", as typical as the pine woods and the vineyards.
To the end result: typically strong pink/red bricks, "orci"(large jars), plant pots, statues and artistic ceramics such as those of Luca Della Robbia.
Luca Della Robbia did not invent the enamel tin-glazing process but he certainly brought it to a fine art form at a special time, when Florence had a special flowering in the arts (Donatello, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti and the Medicis lived at this time).
The most durable terracotta in the world
The beautiful pink colour of our terracotta is due to the high presence of "galestro" a clay with a high iron content: that is why an Impruneta vase will ring like a bell when tapped with a finger.
Once fired, these products, become as strong as metal. Therefore they can resist bad weather conditions, frost and ice in winter and become stronger and stronger in time, while other earthenware pots are fragile and lose their original condition as time goes by.
This "Orcio"(jar) is certainly one hundred years old and is not affected by winter or summer weather conditions.
Travelling around Florence you may find several examples of more than one century and a half old vases as you can see from the kiln mark and date. It is a tradition to print the name of the kiln and sometimes the year before firing any product in Impruneta.
Ferdinando Vanni Boboli Garden Florence
Valentino Paoletti Villa Torrigiani Lucca
The most frost resistant terracotta in the world
Ancient Kilns and Hand Made pieces
Little has changed since old times: some of the old kilns are still visible in Impruneta.
Men's hands are still working the clay and some use wood to fire it.
Terracotta pieces are named "robbiane" when they are covered by enamel: normally white and Light blue, but sometimes also with other colours such as yellow and green.
Robbiane comes from Luca della Robbia and his family.
Luca Della Robbia (1400-1481) was a friend of Donatello, Brunelleschi and Michelozzo :they worked often together in Florence.
After Luca, there were Giovanni, Matteo and others that made beautiful "robbiane" for any use. to Luca himself.
His celebrity is due to the superior quality of his enamels.
His white enamel is incredibly beautiful, brilliant and "right" in any sense. It is made by 3 parts of lead(Pb)and 1 part of silica (sand). It is spread evenly all over and this is particularly difficult if you consider the problems of distribution, the dimension of the pieces and the position in the kiln.
In Impruneta church there are two important altars with "robbiane" made in 1448 and all over Tuscany you may find these artistic pieces.
When you visit Florence you find these works in Uffizi, Opera del Duomo, Bargello museums or in the following churches:San Lorenzo, Santa Croce (Cappella dei Pazzi), San Miniato , Orsanmichele, S. Trinita.
Around Florence you can go to Peretola, Empoli, Pistoia,Fiesole, Prato or far away near Lucca Borgo a Mozzano, Volterra, Assisi, La Verna, Foiano della Chiana and S. Fiora on mount Amiata.
Abroad: Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Lisboa Lyon (France)
There are so many beautiful places to walk by around Impruneta. Whatever direction you choose you will enjoy nature and wonderful landscapes. You may choose to walk along vineyards, to feel the quietness of a pine wood, to visit churches o ancient kilns. Let us guide you through a selection of itineraries we suggest to fully "feel, smell, touch and see" our countryside.
Going down to the Fabbiolle Valley
Eaving via Mazzini you can walk down via Fabbiolle to see Sergio Ricceri's workshop. Somewhere in this Area tradition claims there was Luca della Robbia's kiln
Continuing down the valley amid beautiful views, you go right towards La Caldaia
From there you can continue through the pinewood making a circle, back to the main road near Campo Sportivo and the Restaurant Battibecco
If you want to take a longer walk you can also choose not to turn right to Caldaia but to go straight to Mulino dei Tanfani, cross the stream and climb to the Ugolino villas and the Golf Club on the Chiantigiana Road
Leaving the Church square along via della Croce, you walk straight on, until youreach an old farmhouse at a crossroad. You take the right, go past a cemetery (Picchirillo) and climb up to the hill of Piazza.
Along the road there are several villas on the top and then you enter the pine woods, enjoying beautiful panoramic views towards Firenze, Fiesole and Monte Morello to the north and San Casciano to the South
Leaving Impruneta on the way to Pozzolatico, turn left when you see this little road and start climbing
Turn right on the small white path on the hill. After the top you can see in front of you the white Certosa and the valley between Florence and Prato
Follow the road that goes straight to the nice little church and churchyard of Quintole.
The name means "5 miles" from Florence and it comes from latin quinto.