Chianti is an area of Tuscany full of charm and taste, a succession of hills, villages where time has stopped, fortresses, churches and country houses. Here nature is luxuriant and full of beauty and history, but also of unique and inimitable products that have made this region famous all over the world. First of all the wine.
WHEN TO GO
The best times to visit Chianti are spring and autumn: the landscape and the climate are pleasant, the prices for the stay are more advantageous. In summer, Chianti can be the right place to relax and find milder temperatures than the city. In this season and until autumn, many villages and towns come alive with festivals and fairs, excellent opportunities to discover the traditions, history and culture of wine and good food.
WHERE IS CHIANTI
Chianti is a geographical area located in the heart of Tuscany, which extends for about 20 square kilometers between the provinces of Florence, Siena and Arezzo. The territory is characterized by medium-high hills also called the Monti del Chianti complex, whose highest point is Monte San Michele, 893 meters high.
From a historical point of view, the name initially identified the territories belonging to the ancient Florentine Military League of Chianti, made up of Gaiole, Radda and Castellina in Chianti.
Today, also by virtue of the law on the denomination of wines, the expression “Chianti” means the territories included in the Florentine municipalities of San Casciano and Tavernelle in Val di Pesa, Greve in Chianti, part of Barberino in Val d’Elsa and in the Sienese municipalities of Castelnuovo Berardenga and Poggibonsi.
HOW TO MOVE
All the towns of Chianti can be reached by car, motorbike and by public transport from the main Tuscan cities.
The Via Chiantigiana SR222, drawn on the Chianti hills, connects Florence to Siena via Greve and is a road with a thousand detours, which allows you to savor the beauty of the passages and make stops in your favorite villages. Also perfect for cycling.
Although the railway network is well developed in Tuscany, there are no trains that reach the main towns of Chianti, except Poggibonsi and Castellina in Chianti.
Finally, by bus, you can reach almost all the places in Chianti, in particular the AT – Autolinee Toscane company leaves from Florence Santa Maria Novella and stops in all the towns.
WHAT TO SEE IN CHIANTI
Chianti is dotted with characteristic villages, each with its own architecture and landscapes that have remained untouched over time, medieval buildings, churches, historical and artistic testimonies to discover. Experiencing Chianti means immersing yourself in this suggestive and relaxing atmosphere, visiting the many villages, relaxing in the countryside, dedicating yourself to the pleasures of the table and good wine. Nature is the star of a trip to Chianti and is enriched by historical places, monuments, museums and traditional events.
WHAT TO DO IN CHIANTI
There are many possible itineraries in Chianti, from naturalistic to historical-artistic ones, from trekking and cycling excursions to food and wine tours.
If your intention is to visit Chianti in 1 day, you can take the Chiantigiana road and visit Greve in Chianti, considered the gateway to Chianti, with its famous Piazza del Mercatale, a place of exchange and commerce since ancient times, and the Wine Museum . From here you can reach Montefioralle, a medieval castle with a small village. Continuing you can visit Castellina in Chianti, on the border between the Florentine and Sienese Chianti. Here is the Archaeological Museum of the Chianti Senese. The route can continue up to Barberino Val d’Elsa, a fortified medieval village, then Tavarnelle, to conclude in San Casciano Val di Pesa, the last pretty village in Chianti where Machiavelli lived.
TASTINGS OF CHIANTI CLASSICO
The most emblematic activity to do in Chianti is a tasting of Chianti Classico. Along the Chiantigiana road there are many farms and farms that organize tasting tours. Some require reservations, while others welcome visitors on the spot.
Here are the names of some wineries to contact to organize a tasting:
Alternatively, it is also possible to participate in guided tours that depart from Florence and Siena and include tastings, lunch or dinner in the vineyard and, in some cases, visits to villages and towns.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Stay in Chianti means to enjoy nature and country life. To do this, nothing better than a cottage or an apartment in villa, bed and breakfast or vacation home nestled in the green, where you can rest and enjoy all the good Chianti on site, with products at km 0 and wine DOC.
FOOD AND WINE
The Chianti hills here are rich in vineyards and olive groves, but Chianti cuisine is not made of just oil and wine. Cured meats, cheeses, meats, bread, pappa al pomodoro and the best of the Tuscan tradition can be found in all the taverns and agritourisms where the products reach the table directly from the field.
A place not to be missed is the Officina della Bistecca in Panzano in Chianti: this characteristic tavern is associated with a butcher’s shop where its manager cuts and cooks the Florentine steak by singing the verses of the Divine Comedy.