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There is a Lost World in Sambuca, prehistoric land inhabited by distant relatives of the elephant, which redeems itself from the past and continues to witness life and to promote the recovery of memory and tradition, to valorize the remote identity of a territory through the beauty of its natural and fluvial elements.

In the forest, nearly 2 1/2 million years ago, lived the mastodons of Sambuca, pachyderms similar to elephants whose passage was witnessed by the finding in 1967 of a palate and two molars. There lies a timeless garden in honor of the imposing and archaic age which ties it to the primitive origins of this suburb of Tavarnelle.

There is a large park which extends for 3000 m² in one of the most prestigious areas of Chianti. It is the wide prairie of Abate, where the river Pesa blends with history, spirituality, and the legend of San Giovanni Gualberto and created the ideal habitat for the reproduction of rare fish like the ”vairone”, wrapped in thick wooded tunnels that remind us of the vegetation of tropical climates.


In this angle of a Chianti landscape rich with history, the Township of Tavarnelle and the consortium of “Bonifica Medio Valdarno” have created the “Urban park of the Abate”, where work has begun over the last few days.

It is an investment equal to €165,000 including financing by the consortium and town taxes for urbanization. It foresees the creation of a large garden which, in addition to mixing different styles, where the Italian Garden coexists with the English landscape, it will give life to a small group of environments with different functions and characteristics.

The project, signed by the architect Marco Parrini of the Consortium, foresees the recovery of fruits and traditional local plants.

David Baroncelli

David Baroncelli

The park is also a voyage back in time. “The area,” says the mayor of Tavarnelle, David Baroncelli, “will contain original cultivation of the Chianti brushwood: arbutus, comiolo, mulberry, pomegranate, lazzeruolo, sorb, grapevines, as well as the classics; hazelnut, wild pears, apples, medlar. It is an environment which will be reserved for inebriating essences and various types of flowers, including jasmine. Other sections of the park will be dedicated to the Sun Garden and its specular shade Garden”.

“The first – adds Baroncelli – corresponds to the Winter Garden, the second will be covered with sycamores to guard from the sun. In the center of the park, will be a the “form” garden, destined as a meeting place, as well as a pergola with red strawberry grapes”.

The urban parks of Abate will be enriched by a terrace, a sort of ideal bridge which brings your gaze towards the passage of the river Pesa, built out of of the sandstone of Montefioralle and stones from Firenzuola. The park project also involves the public.

Mastodons of the identified species in Sambuca dominated the Euro–Asian environment around 2 1/2 million years ago. They were mammals which weighed 6 to 8 tons and were approximately 2 1/2 and a half meters at the shoulders. Their dimensions were similar to today’s African elephants.

In 1967, near the San Paolo windmill, around 1 km from the town of Sambuca, a fossil of notable dimensions was found. It was a portion of a two molared palate.

They belonged to a type of mastodon (Anancus arvernensis). The fossil remain is guarded at the Museum of Geology and Paleontology of the University of Florence.