The 'I Monti di Salecchio' agritourism farm is located 4 km from the town of Palazzuolo sul Senio in the upper Mugello, the "ideal village in Italy". Easily reachable from Florence, the upper Mugello is not far from the Chianti region and in summer, cool and healthy air from the high Apennine mountains freshens the area. Set in a panoramic position at 705 metres above sea level, it is surrounded by oak and hornbeam woods, more than 25 hectares of chestnut grove, pastures and cultivated fields for a total of 80 hectares through which three nature trails wind their way.
The rustic house, the oldest part which dates back to the Medieval period, was documented in the !and register that the Florentine Republic conducted in 1428, after having finally conquered the area following their defeat of the Ubaldini in 1373. The most illustrious person of the time was Maghinardo Pagani who died in 1302 and is buried in the nearby abbey of Susinana. At that time, the Fancellino family of Giovanni and Nicola (di Matteo) lived at I Monti, "A house where they live with their possessions with a courtyard, vegetable garden, among the said people (Salecchio) in the place called Monti".
Remodelled in 2002, the farmhouse has on the second floor 5 rooms with en-suite bathroom and heating for the winter months. The entry, which is in the oldest part of the house and has a particular style fireplace, still has the old 'pietra serena' floor. The adjacent rooms, where meals are served, mantain their originai terracotta floors and the 'pietra serena' ceilings are held up by chestnut-wood beams. The cuisine radiates Tuscan culinary culture, and is enriched by the scents of aromatic herbs, many of which are cultivated at the farm and used to make flavourful liqueurs.
In the adjacent, former hayloft there is a multi function room, while upstairs there are two artisan's workshops, one for the decoration of ceramics and the other for the making of wicker baskets, an ancient tradition of the household.
The hand-made ceramic products principally reproduce Cafaggiolo decorations: the ancient ceramics of the Medici family at Barberino di Mugello during the Renaissance.
Our guests can even try their hand at shaping clay and decorating, following their own artistic sensítivity.
In addition to the artísan activitíes, it is possible to rent mountain bikes or take walks or hikes in the area. Along the three, well-marked trails you can observe the rare yellow-bellied toad; newts living in a fountain fed by a perenniai spring; the remains of an ancient rural enclave inhabited until the Second World War; the chestnut driers in the chestnut woods set in wonderful forests with spectacular views of the Apennine mountain ridge, with summìts as high as 1184 metres elevation. Throughout the area the typical upper Appennine fauna can be seen: various types of deer, wild boar, porcupines, falcons, buzzards, just to name a few. Even wolves have been reported.
The company produces under biological agriculture
The main agricultural products are: spelt and a fine variety of chestnut called "marrone". The Mugello's "marrone" has been recognized by the European Community of IGP. The "marrone" is consumed fresh and in October became the typical local products: chestnut cake, "castagnaccio" (a special chestnut's cake with dried fruit), chestnut puree, chestnut syrup, liqueur.
The company also processes all other fruits that grow: cherries, sour cherries, strawberries, figs, mirabolane, plums, blackberries, carnelian, absorbs, the way most appropriate, in jams, syrup, liquor.