Villa Panna, source of natural beauty and a history worth savoring
A water worth savoring deserves a beautiful home, and Villa Panna is exactly that. Located in a 1300-hectare estate of rolling Tuscan countryside, it boasts not only the Acqua Panna source, but also an abundance of wildlife as well as a rich history.
The territory was purchased in the early 1400s by Florence's famed Medici family, who annexed it to their Cafaggiolo hunting estate, transforming the ancient fortress into a luxurious villa surrounded by orchards, gardens and an expansive hunting ground. In 1564, an official proclamation established the boundaries of the Medici property, including the Panna estate. Since that date, while ownership of the land has changed a few times, the estate itself has remained almost perfectly intact.
The Medici family also built a dairy farm here. It was in 1860 that the owners at the time, the Marquises of Torrigiani, turned this farmhouse into Villa Panna, a superb summer residence embellished by a lake, a belvedere and numerous statues. They also converted the main agricultural area into a mineral water plant. In those days, the water was loaded onto a cart in immense 54-liter demijohns and delivered to homes as far away as Florence. Then around 1910, the demijohns were phased out and, for the first time, Acqua Panna was distributed in one-liter bottles.
Legend has it that the Marquis Luigi Torrigiani lost the Panna estate while gambling in the late 1920s or early 1930s. In any case, ownership passed to another aristocratic family, the Contini Bonacossi. They founded the Società Panna company in 1938, only to see its activity almost immediately interrupted by World War II. Bottles were hidden for safekeeping at the bottom of Villa Panna's artificial lakes, ready to be fished out and cleaned up once the conflict had ended. In 1951, the damage from the war having been completely repaired, the new Acqua Panna plant was finally inaugurated.
In 1957, Società Panna was bought by the Società delle Terme di San Pellegrino. This provided capital for a series of improvements and modernizations over the following decades, like the pioneering introduction of plastic bottles in 1970, and PET bottles in 1994.
Acqua Panna continues to invest in safeguarding both the integrity of the source and the beauty of the ecosystem around them. In 2020, thanks to a partnership with the Federation of Italian Parks and Nature Reserves, the Panna estate became a living laboratory for biodiversity research, a natural sanctuary where the flora and fauna are continuously monitored and permanently protected.