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Hystory

The Locanda della Ribollita, a rustic yet elegant inn, has an interesting history region around Chiusi. Built in the area first known as Il Pino, and then La Querce, its location is now called Querce al Pino, and finally has a name that is not connected to the place, but to its culinary tradition.Il Pino began during the 1950's, when the system of share cropping was dying out, and Italy was looking to the future, investing in infrastructure that was transforming it from an old agricultural country into a modern industrial power.

Il Pino was originally a farm that was lived in by a family of tenant farmers, whose income was sufficient to pay their labour costs and re-invest in the property. Backed by the capital of the proprietor, their input helped to transform Il Pino. It was also at this time that the construction of the Autostrada del Sole began, and there were numerous building yards and construction sites that had opened in the area, which provided the impetus for change.

The proprietor of Il Pino, Alessandro Bonci Casuccini and the family of tenant farmers, the Vannuzzi, observed the high number of workers coming and going from the building sites, and all those involved in the various phases of construction, and decided to take the big step towards modernisation.The proprietor guaranteed the investment, and the Vanuzzi transformed themselves from tenant farmers into innkeepers, becoming consummate hosts whose traditions and knowledge helped them thrive. With the women of the family making sure to produce to delicious Tuscan dishes and the men taking care of the dining room and the wine, the inn was a success and the Vannuzzi and Il Pino grew rapidly. The Vannuzzi became businessmen and built a more modern structure in which to effectively carry on their activities. In agreement with the proprietor they changed the name and Il Pino was then called La Querce..

After some refurbishment, the inn had 15 rooms with two bathrooms and simple and abundant food. The clientele remained the same; mostly truck drivers and company representatives. The world was changing and in the middle of the 1990's a major reconstruction and renovation was undertaken. A bathroom was added to every room, and the restaurant continued to highlight its Tuscan traditions, but with more refinement and more attention and emphasis on quality. La Ribollita was a representation of all the elements that melded together and defined the social change. A new name, a new location, a new, more attractive look.The building that houses La Locanda della Ribollita is a farm built between the two World Wars, by Emilio, the father of Alessandro Bonci Casuccini. Emilio was a cultured man, a capable administrator of his estates, who dedicated himself to studying Latin, Greek and the archaeology of the Etruscans. The Chiusi area was a cradle of Florentine culture, the most important in Italy, as it was originally an Etruscan centre. Emilio successfully excavated tombs, wrote books about his findings, and founded his own museum.

Emilio had important estates, which he inherited from his father, Pietro. He was also a man of culture, but in a totally different field. Pietro graduated with success in mathematics from Pisa University, and in in those times, fought as a student, but also as a soldier and patriot at Curtatone and Montanara, fundamental battles in the formation of a united Italian state. Pietro was the son of Francesco. Francesco studied medicine, but the time spent looking after the family estates did not allow him to practice very often. He therefore dedicated himself totally to music. He gained a great level of prestige and collaborated with Haydn on a correspondence on an opera that he had written and had already been scored. But it was the father of Francesco, another Pietro, who enlarged the family fortune. Pietro, who is referred to in the family as Pietro the Great, was an extraordinary person. He started off with a small fortune, and became notable in the history of Chiusi, performing a variety of important activities.

In his early years, he rode and worked with the visionary figure, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Pietro Leopoldo, who later granted him reclaimed marshlands of which he became the proprietor. This land, close to the lakes of Chiusi and Montepulciano was large and potentially fertile. In the course of these works of reclamation, many Etruscan tombs and works, that had never been seen before, were brought to light. The archaeological finds were so numerous that it was necessary to construct a large building to contain them all. Also brought to light was the spring which is considered to be the holy water of Chianciano. This water system was regulated by Pietro and given as a gift to the Grand Duke, which allowed him to obtain sufficient credibility and therefore gain the contracts for many important public works in the area, including the road that links Sarteano with Chianciano. When he died he was rich and respected and left to his children, according to the will, more than 6,000 hectares of agricultural land. Today the family retains 400 hectares. On one of these parcels of land, you will find La Locanda della Ribollita. Loved by everyone for its charm and for the history that it represents.