Around | Within 30 min | San Sano

San Sano

1km 10min

The hamlet of San Sano dates back to Etruscan and Roman times but flourished in the Middle Ages, when a fortress and a church were built. In the 16th century its strategic location made San Sano the subject of a bloody dispute between Siena and Florence, which concluded with the sacking and burning of the village. In the end it became a farming village included in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and the fortifications were converted into homes for farmers, cutting down the oak and chestnut woods to plant vineyards.

In his 1773 treatise on Tuscan oenology, the physician Giovanni Cosimo Villifranchi wrote: “The Chianti territory measures thirty to forty miles, and the principal places where the best Chianti wines may be found are Ama, Broglio, Castellina, San Sano and Cacchiano”. Villifranchi Op. Cit. page 19.

San Sano is now a tiny, perfectly preserved hamlet with about 80 residents. Parts of the medieval constructions are still visible today, including an old well and the keep of the fortifications, now part of Agriturismo San Sano. There is an amusing anecdote about the “drinking frog” fountain, representing a frog drinking from a flask of wine. It was installed in 1967 following the participation of Ferdinando Anichini, a local teacher, writer and historian, in Corrado’s television programme “Il Tappabuchi”, during which the teacher imitated the sound of a frog drunk on Chianti wine. The episode was immortalised in the fountain in 1967, which has now become a symbol of San Sano.