Take a wine-tasting tour alongside Pozzo Divino’s 700-year-old well
Ivana Scatola and James Taylor
For a wine-tasting tour with a difference, look no further than Pozzo Divino on Via Ghibellina just north of Santa Croce. Owned by Pino, well-known among students as a famous local identity, ‘Pozzo Divino’ is a witty play on words: literally meaning ‘divine well,’ it also translates as ‘wine well’ when read as ‘Pozzo di Vino.’
The ancient well in question is now part of a cellar that hosts Pozzo Divino’s wine tours. Dating back to 1312, the well is seven centuries old and was originally built to supply water through a vast system of underground tunnels and pipes to the prisoners of the local prison, known as the Stinche (now Teatro Verdi), that stretched as far as the Bargello.
Pino bought the location in 2006 and restored it himself with the help of some friends. Despite its restoration, Pino reveals that it was always his principal intention to maintain a tangible sense of history when stepping into the cellar. This is something he has undoubtedly achieved; the place is almost like a time-machine propelling you back a few centuries into a part of authentic medieval Florence — albeit in excellent condition.
Pino’s sommelier training is at the forefront of Pozzo Divino’s wine tours. He imparts his impressive knowledge while taking guests around the cellar, offering a range of Italian wines to sample with an appetizer of complementary regional cheeses, cuts of meats, bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Guests are offered a spectrum of Tuscan flavors to try, from a variety of the region’s renowned Chianti Classico to white wines that include Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio. The wine-tasting ends with the most exclusive reds of the cellar: Bolgheri, Super Tuscan, Morellino and Montepulciano.
Upon request, guests also enjoy a buffet lunch comprising fresh pasta, specialty Italian second courses, and “the best panini in the world” made by Pino himself.
Pino proudly boasts that 90 percent of the wines he holds are of Tuscan origin, and that his tours prove so popular that he often ships back boxes of the wine sampled to America in order to appease impressed customers. Those looking to take a taste of Tuscany back home can find comprehensive information on shipping zones and freight costs on the company’s website.
Pozzo Divino is currently offering patrons a range of Christmas specials. Its cellars yield a variety of sparkling wines to toast the festive season, from Italian prosecco to French champagne, as well as local Chianti vin santo for rounding off a celebratory meal.
Pozzo Divino’s wine tours can be organized for tourist groups, families and universities, and cost only €15 a head — which not only makes it an experience to enjoy over the festive season but also an ideal Christmas gift for lovers of Tuscany’s finest vintages.