The villa at Volmiano was a watchtower that was extended in the 15th century by the Cerretani family when their villa burned down. There is also the Sorbetole complex, originally owned by the Martelli family. It then passed to the Medici, who incorporated it into the Caffaggiolo estate.
The last descendant of the Cerretani family, Cassandra, enlarged the small 15th-century oratory and had a fountain built to brighten up the garden with boxwood hedges.
Now the Villa di Volmiano is an imposing complex, built around a strong ancient tower surrounded by a large, unspoilt green valley, with the imposing complex of Sorbetole in front, where olive oil has been produced since the Middle Ages.
In the property you can see the line of the ancient towers placed to defend the road connecting Florence to Bologna.
Sorbetole looks at Volmiano, which in turn looks at the castle of Legri and the castle looks at a tower at the entrance to the Marinella valley.
Today the Volmiano farm, owned by Vittoria Gondi Citernesi and her sons Gerardo and Lapo Gondi, is run by Lapo, who has continued the great passion of his grandfather, Alfredo Citernesi, who dedicated his life to the cultivation of olive trees and extra virgin olive oil, of which he was proud.
The farm is included in the register of historical farms classified by the Chamber of Commerce as specialised olive groves.
The farm is set in a green, unspoilt valley on the slopes of Monte Morello, famous since the Middle Ages for its oil.
Today the farm covers about 550 hectares, 70 of which are specialised olive groves with over 20,000 olive trees of the Leccino, Moraiolo, Frantoio and Pendolino varieties. They are surrounded by coppice and high-trunk woods ranging from 250 to 1000 metres, reaching one of the three peaks of Monte Morello.
This uncontaminated valley, where time has stood still, can be defined as Florence's green lung. Because of this peculiarity, the farm is now organic and is included in an area of Community interest (SCI).
During the pressing process, it is an ideal place to see a traditional oil mill that still has stone millstones, presses and fiscoli.
In the Volmiano Valley there was a succession of Tabernacles to protect travellers who had been travelling along the ancient roads to the north since the Middle Ages.
Most of these have been lost, but in the Volmiano garden there remains a very famous oratory dedicated to St John Decollate, with frescoes attributed to the school of Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio. They date from around 1495 and were commissioned by Paolo Cerretani, father of Bartolommeo, the historian who described the period after Savonarola in 1520 in "Diario di una mutazione".
Cassandra Cerretani, widow Capponi, enlarged the oratory in the early 1700s to protect the frescoes from the weather and built a small church.
In the basement of the villa are two oil mills that exclusively press their own olives, the first being a traditional cold press with stone millstones.
As tradition merges with innovation in the company, all machinery is made of stainless steel.
To speed up the extraction process, a robot has been installed to facilitate the work of the millers. The olive paste is placed on fiscoli, which are stacked, and then through a press, the organic, natural, extra virgin olive oil from Volmiano is extracted.
The second mill is modern, again cold-pressed with vertical presses and decanter, with oxygen depression. Two types of oil of the highest quality are thus produced.
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil with stone mills, natural, organic and unfiltered. It has an intense green colour, a delicate but persistent flavour and a fruity aroma.
It is a high quality product, slightly denser because it does not undergo any heat alteration being extracted by the traditional method, i.e. by pressure and centrifugal force.
It is stored in steel silos under nitrogen to prevent oxidation. It is then packaged in different sizes of cans and bottles.
Frantoio 50%, Moraiolo 30%, Leccino 20%.
Cold pressed with stone grinders, exclusively from its own olives.
The oil is not filtered.
Bright green with emerald highlights
Fruity/herbal at first glance but slightly spicy at the end.
It goes well with vegetable dishes, soups, pulses and fish.
The Fattoria di Volmiano during the pressing season (November and December), organises visits to the oil mill with Oil Tastings accompanied by tastings of Tuscan products.
Visits are by appointment only. It is also possible to organise walks in private and exclusive areas of the estate, accompanied by a guide who can help you appreciate the thousand-year history and uncontaminated nature, following ancient paths through the olive groves and woods of Monte Morello.
This is followed by an oil tasting at the oil mill or a picnic. The walks are organised by appointment throughout the year, except in winter.
Via di Volmiano, 28, 50041 Calenzano FI
+39 055 882 7114
VAT no. 05818000480