Few territory like Chianti can offer a landscape so rich and suggestive:
green hills designed by kilometers and kilometers of vineyards and olive groves, villages squeezed between large medieval walls, hidden castles, winding streets.
The Chianti Classico is stretches between Florence and Siena and comprises the entire municipalities of Greve, Panzano, Gaiole, Radda and Castellina.
Greve in Chianti:
Our tour has to start from Greve in Chianti, considered the gateway to the Chianti. This lively town is famous for its unique square, which was the market place since medieval villages, castles and farms of the surrounding hills.
The square, the almost triangular in shape, is bordered on three sides by large arcades, which shelter from the rain and from the sun while shopping center and houses the statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano, who discovered the Bay of New York.
To the left of the square,there is the church of Santa Croce of medieval origin, but the neo-Renaissance style which houses some valuable works of sacred art,including a triptych with Madonna and Saints by Bicci di Lorenzo.
Greve also offers the chance to sample and taste many typical products of Chianti.Under the arcades of the square in fact there are many traditional shops, wine bars and restaurants.
These include the Old Butcher Falorni that offers only traditional Chianti. A few steps from the square then there is the Museum of Wine.
Panzano in Chianti:
A few kilometers from Greve is Panzano, Chianti populous country.From the twelfth century Panzano has played an important role in the defense of the territories of Florence. Panzano Castle was in fact an important bulwark in defense of the Republic of Florence in the wars between Florence and Siena. Castle remain evident traces in the old town, dominated today by the Church of St. Mary, dating back to 1200, but completely rebuilt in 1800 in a neoclassical style.
It ‘nice to walk through the old town and breathe the air of the old days and linger in the main square for a glass of wine. For Panzano there are some wine bars and restaurants that offer wine tasting and local products.
Most famous there is the Old Butcher Cecchini, famous for its excellent bistecca alla fiorentina, which is cut by decanting the Divine Comedy. Further along is Pieve di San Leolino, mentioned since 982. Inside are kept some precious works of art by local masters.
Castellina in Chianti:
Continuing Siena is located in Castellina in Chianti. This city is was an important strategic and military place between Florence and Siena. As evidence of this feature remains today the imposing fortress overlooking the central square and the charming walkway Via the Times through the village and offers views of the breathtaking landscape.
Walking through the city you have beautiful mansions that belonged to important families of Florence and Siena. Then,you must to see the Church of St. Saviour was rebuilt after World War II but that holds within it a beautiful late fourteenth century fresco of a Tuscan master. Definitely worth a visit is the Archaeological Museum of the Chianti area, which traces the antique history of this area and maintains the Etruscan Montecalvario.
In Castellina you can taste the wines in one of the many wine bars in the village and enjoy the art of Chianti.
Radda in Chianti:
Leaving via Chiantigiana and taking the state is reached SR 429 Radda in Chianti which retains its original medieval antique. The antique walls still protect the city center, which develops into a maze of narrow streets concentric. The Palazzo del Podesta dominates along with the private chapel of Romanesque origin the center of the village. Here, you can lose yourself strolling through the narrow streets of the center to find out particular views of the surrounding valley, sipping a glass of wine and enjoy the magical atmosphere of this town.
Very near to Radda id Castello di Volpaia, an old fortified village. The sandstone building has a distinctive dark color, which makes the castle different from others. Although it has been marked by wars between Siena and Florence , the structure is still recognizable: the mighty main tower and one of the smaller towers. Also, you must to see Commandery of St. Eufrosino, century church now deconsecrated and home to a wine shop. Castello di Volpaia is today a small tourist village where you can taste the wine and enjoy excellent food.
Gaiole in Chianti:
Next village is Gaiole in Chianti, whose origins date back to the Middle Ages. Gaiole for its location halfway between Valdarno and Chianti, had become an important market place. This magical place still plays an important role in the area, because of great tourist attraction. In fact there are many wineries and farms that offer their products and their hospitality. Around Gaiole,we recommend to see the Castle of Vertine,Meleto Castle and the Pieve di Spaltenna, where you can enjoy in their hospitality, food and spectacular wine.