By Simone Cecchini


We went back again to ‘I’Babbo’ – who wanted the historic and scenic setting of Castellina, in the heart of Chianti, for his new ‘inn’. The restaurant, renovated and set up ad hoc, finally does justice and space to its caravan of dishes, wines and traditions. Vincenzo Bucci, better known as “I’Babbo” is the character you don’t expect: a man full of stories and anecdotes about Chianti. His stories will involve and entertain you so much, that you can’t help but fall in love.



“I’Babbo”, born in 1964, does not limit himself to small talk, but immediately wants us to discover his best specialties. Today he recommends the famous ‘Pici all’aglione’ with fresh tomato and, second variant, the ‘Pici al fumo’, originally from the Valdichiana, with smoked bacon, tomato mousse and fresh cream. “I get garlic from the best”, he tells us, from the ‘Fruttolandia’ agricultural company in the Cortona area.

“I’Babbo’ uses for his first ‘signed’ products from the Fabbri pasta factory in Strada in Chianti – organic and Slow Food Presidium, of great digestibility: “An extraordinary pasta!”. In particular, we recommend the ‘Spaghetti al guanciale’ with a sprinkling of cacio romano, the ‘Flying saucers alla Norcina’ with sausage, truffle and fresh cream; finally, the ‘Sugo di’ Barbagianni’ made with tomato, herbs from the garden, porcini mushrooms, sausage and rigatino is truly amazing.

The Tuscan raw ham, on the other hand, is from Torrita di Siena.

“The Tuscan salami,” he continues, “I take the processed one as the old butchers and farmers of Chianti once did; with sugar beet powder and without preservatives or artificial colours. It’s perfect with the addition of a nice ‘zolfini’ beans”.

As per tradition and mindful of the last tasting, I could only taste, again, his wonderful and famous porchetta, still hot, crunchy and persuasive. Strictly cut with a knife, as well as all cured meats.

But let’s briefly recall its history, made up of ancient customs, of men and women now consigned to the history of Chianti.

With his family, still a child, he returned to the house of Giovanni Pagni, known as ‘Buricchi’, the famous pig maker who went to the square in Greve on Saturdays at every market and fair, unleashing his famous opera omnia… a 150kg porchetta: “He always took me with him to feed the pigs. One day he said to me: from tomorrow ‘boy’ pigs will be killed because you have to make porchetta. I was a little surprised, worried because I didn’t know what porchetta was. I was still a child! Especially when they killed the pig and threw it into the pot of boiling water, to peel it. But I was also lucky enough to witness the most magical moment of the porchetta. Just before tying the pig and putting it in the oven, Giovanni (Buricchi) sent all the people away, except me. He would open a jar at the Caffè Paulista where he secretly kept the last condiment – which I still put in my porchetta to make it so special,” he says.

After enjoying this magnificent porchetta, we see Vincenzo cut in half the classic ‘I’Semelle’ sandwich – which in the past was made with type 0 flour, born to be soaked in milk or coffee. Today, however, it is used for lampredotto and making sandwiches with porchetta. Vincenzo removes the crumb to let in more flab, then dips it in the broth, seasoned with salt, pepper, green sauce and homemade chilli oil, fabulous. Its portions are very generous and tasty, with an excellent quality/price ratio – needless to say, perhaps you had already figured it out on your own.

If you are still hungry, and you have a fairly large stomach, we recommend one of its classic main courses, namely the ‘Pork cheek with red wine and black peppercorns’.

We didn’t miss the dessert, choosing as per tradition a nice ‘Tiramisu’ and ‘Cantuccini del Forno di Radda’ (Di’Faina) with a nice glass of farmer’s vinsanto – made as God commands, with Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes.

Finally, we ask Vincenzo to define his new restaurant: “I wouldn’t define it as a tavern or a restaurant, but rather with the simple description ‘da I’Babbo’: the guardian of the traditions of the Florentine and Sienese Chianti, between taste, flavour and sympathy”.


Info and reservations: ‘La Sosta del Gallo Viandante – Da I’Babbo’, Via Fiorentina 4, Castellina in Chianti (Si), Tel. 331 1743355 / E-mail:

Opening hours: 9:00 am – 9:15 pm. Open every day. Themed dinners and by reservation. For updates on the events visit the Facebook page WINE BAR SOSTA DEL GALLO VIANDANTE – DA I’BABBO.