The Legend of the Gallo Nero (Black Rooster)

Many people have seen the famous “Gallo Nero” (black rooster) logo, the symbol of Chianti Classico wine, which has also become the emblem of Tuscany; yet very few are familiar with its significance or origins.

During the Middle Ages, The Republic of Siena and Florence were always at war , struggling between themselves to gain control over the Chianti territory which lies between the two cities.

Legend has it that both parties, tired of battles , decided on a very unique way to reach a final pact . The new boundaries that would separate the two republics would be determined through the meeting-point of two men, one from Florence and the other from Siena, each one was to leave their respective city at the moment their rooster crowed at dawn. The exact place where their paths crossed would become the new boundary between the two cities.

However the choice of the bird was crucial. In Siena a white cock was chosen , and was fed a lot the night before in order that it crowed louder and earlier. The Florentines instead chose a black cock that they kept cooped up all day without food, water.

The following morning the black cock day started crowing very early because it was so hungry and so the Florentine competitor set off with a huge advantage over his rival from Siena whose rooster was still fast asleep because it had been fed so much!

The result was that the two men met just 12 kilometers away from Siena, and so the Chianti territory with its new symbol became the property of the Republic of Florence.