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THE MAD WAGON




Florence, on Saturday 30 September 2023 the re-enactment of the "Offering of the wine from the countryside to the Signoria of Florence" will take place, the ritual in use at the time of the Florentine Republic to celebrate the arrival of wine from the countryside in the city of Florence. For the occasion, the Carro Matto will parade, the long cart loaded with hundreds of flasks of wine, arranged in a pyramid, pulled by the typical Chianina breed "oxen". The appointment is at 3.30pm in Piazza Duomo, from where the Carro Matto, the procession of the Florentine Republic and the Historical Procession of Wine and the Contado of Rufina will move through the streets of the historic centre. The re-enactment, directed by Filippo Giovannelli, sees first the blessing of the wine by the Religious Authorities, then the offering of the wine cruet to the Church of San Carlo dei Lombardi and finally the offering of the Benedict wine of the Carro Matto to the Lordship of Florence in Piazza Duomo.


The "crazy wagon" is the name given to a large wagon drawn from oxen or horses that transports barrels of wine and other agricultural products, and plays a central role in the Feast of the Rificolona. During the procession, the participants stop at the crazy wagon for drinking wine directly from the barrel. It is an ancient and popular tradition that dates back to centuries ago and represents a moment of celebration and sharing in Florentine culture.


But what does this event of the crazy car consist of? Today, this event aims to celebrate the centenary Tuscan tradition of wine production but, at the same time, is aimed at recreating the arrival of wine in the city. From the 14th century, the wine was bottled and preserved in glass bottles called fiasco for their particular round-shaped round line and elongated neck. They are those famous rounded flashes that have become, over time, the emblem of Tuscan wine in the world.It contains exactly 3/4 liter of wine and were produced in the heart of Florence: the corner between via Condotta and via dei Calzaiuoli was known as 'singing of the flashes' precisely because there were many workshops and warehouses of the Florentine artisans. The 'flashes' or the one who produced the flasks, precisely made both the glass bottle and the straw layer intertwined around the low half and face both to protect the bottle from any breaks, and to act as thermal insulation to keep the qualities intact some wine. While the glass bottles were made in Florence city, the wine was produced outside, in the surrounding countryside and the crazy wagon shows how the bottles were once masterfully stacked in a pyramid to be transported safely where they were filled. On the cart there are over 2000 bottles and today, as then, only a few people are able to create this masterpiece of artisan architecture! Here the Matto chariot recreates the moment of arrival in the city from the chariot campaign with the bottles full of the wine of the new vintage, welcomed with the same enthusiasm and joy of that time. During the years of the Florentine Republic, the tradition wanted that the first chariot of the season headed towards Piazza della Signoria in front of the church of via dei Calzaiuoli for a blessing, together with the rulers of the city who received the first bottles of wine as a gift.This is precisely the tradition that is staged every year at the end of September, starting from the city of Rufina until you reach the north-east area of Florence.


Since 1973, Rufina celebrates her wine with an entire week of Bacco craftsman events dedicated to local crafts, music and, of course, wine, present in abundance!After a few years, the city decided to restore the tradition of arrival in Florence of the crazy carriage.If you go to Rufina on Sunday after the arrival of the wagon in Florence, you will find many open cellars, where you can make visits and degutations.If you find yourself near the end of September, I highly recommend that you go to see the crazy wagon, precisely because Rufina has remained practically the only city in Tuscany that has managed to keep the tradition and the ability to stack the flasks alive In a pyramid like this!

A curiosity the corner of Via Condotta, the original name was "canto dei Fiascai" flashes corner, because here in the renaissance time people where making flashes.

we have this kind of event every September the 30th, if you meet this wagon on the Calsaiuoli street you have the opportunity to try Chianti wine for Free.

last year during our free walking tour had the opportunity to try the new wine during our tours in Florence.



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