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Friday Poll: What’s the best-named town in Tuscany?

There’s humor, frustration, and honeyed syllables. How could you not love this?

Europe. Italy. Tuscany. Lunigiana. Mulazzo. Dante’s Statue
This is in a random little Tuscan town, which wait what?
Photo by Marco Scataglini/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

I’ve always been a map nerd. When I was a kid, all my favorite books featured detailed maps; anything Tolkien or Brian Jacques or Robert Jordan was right up my alley. I got nerdy about other stuff as I aged, but I’m still cartographically inclined. When my grandfather died a few years ago, the one thing I really wanted from his estate was his globe, which now sits in my living room.

Part of the joy was reading place names. As someone who grew up around Austin and Kerrville and Round Rock, names that didn’t fit in central Texas seduced me. Maybe that’s part of why I love Tuscany as much as I do: the place names are magnificent. Toscania. Firenze. Il Fiume Po.

Today, then, let’s take a stroll through some of the less famous but no less mellifluous names. I’ve chosen my favorite municipalities in Tuscany. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and neither is it me trying to make fun of anyone. It has nothing to do with Fiorentina. It’s just some town names I think are wonderful and that I’d love to share with you so we all have something pleasant ahead of a very stressful Saturday.


What’s your favorite town name?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Cantagallo: it means "the rooster sings" and is almost onomatopoeic
    (7 votes)
  • 20%
    Greve in Chianti: it means "heavy in Chianti," which is the most Tuscan thing imaginable
    (15 votes)
  • 23%
    Montelupo Fiorentina: it means "the Florentine wolf mountain" and might be the most metal town name in Italy
    (17 votes)
  • 8%
    Mulazzo: one way to read it is as somebody cursing a mule, which is a wonderful thing to name a town
    (6 votes)
  • 37%
    Poggibonsi: it means "good hill" but more importantly, it just sounds gorgeous
    (27 votes)
72 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your weekend thread. Stay loose.