Londa
From Etruscans to the Middle Ages to “Queen” peaches

The Londa territory has been inhabited since the Etruscan era, evidenced by the discovery of houses dating to the 6th century BCE and the so-called Londa Stele, today held in the National Archaeological Museum in Florence.

In addition to these, the Etruscans also left traces of their time here in the names of the municipality’s hamlets, called Rata, Rincine, Vicorati and Vierle. On the contrary, the names of the hamlets of Bucigna, Caiano, Caspriano and Petroio date to the 3rd century BCE, when the Romans first began to settle in the area.

During the Middle Ages, the area was controlled by the Guidi Counts, who later gave it to the Bardi family. Between the 15th and 17th centuries, Londa held the status of county, tied to the San Lorino Castle. Feoffed to the Guadagni family, it once again became fully part of the Grand Duchy’s realm after Pietro Leopoldo d’Asburgo Lorena’s reforms.

The village is full of character, surrounded by the typical Tuscan mountain panorama. Historically isolated by the convergence of the Rincine and Moscia creeks (which flowed along a different path than today’s), the town was initially called Isola and was only later changed to Onda, from which the town’s current name derives. The name is also depicted in the civic coat of arms, which shows a silver wave against a blue background.

At the town’s entrance, you’ll cross over a nineteenth-century bridge with two arches. From here you’ll arrive at the entrance to the historic center and Piazza Umberto I, a natural amphitheater often used for events and shows. The Palazzo Comunale, other historic buildings and the church of SS. Concezione all face onto the piazza.

The territory of Londa, that falls within that of Florence and the wider Florentine area, is characterized by woods, vineyards, olive groves and streams that descend impetuously from Monte Falterona’s slopes.

Lake Londa is a popular fishing destination, as well as a beautiful venue for the area’s festivals and fairs.

Londa is also located on the border of the National Park of the Casentinesi Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna, and the lake’s shores are home to one of the park's visitor centers.

The Parish Church of San Leonino, originally from 1000, the Parish Church of S. Elena, the sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the sanctuary of Santa Maria del Sasso are all nearby.

A good moment to visit the town is during the second weekend of September with the September Festival, founded in the 1960s, that ends with the prize ceremony for the Pesca d’Argento (or Silver Peach) which awards the producer that presents the best case of “Queen” peaches, the area’s typical tasty and late peach variety. During the festival, musical and theatrical performances, fireworks on the lake and gastronomic competitions are held. Of the latter, the challenge between the city districts to compete for the title of the best polenta is a particular highlight.

The Festival of Fusigno on Christmas Eve is dedicated to another of the area’s typical products, bardiccio, with a barbecue in the square and filled wine glasses.

The medieval Palio della Brocca dell’Alleanza takes place in the first half of July, with a historical procession and a series of competitions between the municipality’s districts.

Londa and its territory is a true paradise for lovers of typical Tuscan food and wine.

This is the very homeland of the Regina Peach (also called the Queen of Londa), a much-loved fruit and Slow Food presidium. This sweet peach with white flesh comes to fruition later than most and is celebrated in the aforementioned September Festival.

Another typical product is bardiccio, a pork sausage flavored with wild fennel.