What are the three emblematic trees of Tuscany? Of course the cypress, the olive tree but also the umbrella pine, and you will be able to admire all of them in beautiful Chianti and in particular in the hotel Villa le Barone! Let us today concentrate on the umbrella pine.
What would the Tuscan landscapes be without the olive trees, the cypresses and the umbrella pines, the latter with their very elegant silhouettes emerging, solitary or in group, on the hills of Chianti? The umbrella pine, also called stone pine, is indeed one of the most beautiful trees in the Mediterranean region, graceful and strong at the same time. The pine tree was widely used by the Romans in shipbuilding, but also to adorn their gardens. During the Renaissance, they have also been widely planted as ornamental trees in the Medicean Villas. They still have industrial use today in construction, such as for carpentry, flooring, paneling, but they continue to adorn the Tuscan landscapes, and hotel Villa le Barone’s garden.
Do you also know that it takes 3 years for the cones of the umbrella pine tree to ripen? Between their scales they contain the seeds (pine nuts, pinoli in Italian), often difficult to extract, surrounded by a hard shell with a powdery black coating that rubs off easily. One has to break those shells to get the pine nuts to get out!
The pine trees and pine cones alike have much inspired painters, photographers, designers … and at Villa le Barone you will enjoy terracotta pine cones on the top of walls. As for the pine nuts, they are widely used in Mediterranean cooking, both for main dishes, such as the delicious “spezzatino di vitello” or for desert, such as the beautiful and exquisite “Torta della Nonna” (literally, ” Grandmother tart”).
“Beauty and Peace” wrote one of our guests in the guest book of the hotel Villa le Barone …and certainly it is also because he/she was captivated by the two emblematic trees of Tuscany: olive tree, cypress and umbrella pine.