Chianti, one of the most beautiful areas of Tuscan region and it has always been linked to wine and its culture. The Chianti hills are raked by miles and miles of vineyards, which change color with each passing season, in a unique landscape. Green, purple, red and yellow are the colors that glow on these hills, and that every year attract thousands of visitors. Between Florence and Sienna are many farms that offer proudly a very high quality product, made with passion and effort. Large, small, old or new, all the wineries of Chianti offer the opportunity to taste their wines. In fact you need a good map to start this tasting tour, but it is enough to be guided from the streets and from their instincts. Only a few regions are able to offer a rich and beautiful scenery such as Chianti: green hills, vineyards and olive groves, ancient walled villages and sweet scenic roads. Just 20 minutes drive from Casa Podere Monti ( 20 km).
Chianti Tour : the best of Chianti in a day
Between Florence and Siena there are many farms and cellars who offer tastings of their own wines. Large, small, old or new, all the cellars of the Chianti offer tastings of their own wines. Few are the regions able to offer such a rich panorama as that of Chianti: green hills, thousands and thousands of vineyards, ancient hamlets and scenic roads. Follow the road and the beauty of these places while you visit the hamlets of Chianti.
From Casa Podere Monti we suggest you to begin your Chianti tour by proceeding to Castellina in Chainti (20 min by car).
Castellina in Chianti
Its ideal position in the heart of Chianti has made Castellina a strategic location between Florence and Siena. Confirming this glorious past is the majestic Rocca (castle) rising over the town and the imposing Via delle Volte, an underground tunnel along the town offering a breathtaking view. Walking around, one notices many historic buildings which belonged to noble Florentine and Sienese families. The church of S. Salvatore is worth a visit: rebuilt after the second world war, the church has a beautiful 14th-century fresco by a Tuscan master. Even the Archeological Museum of the Chianti Senese is recommended where there are many archeological findings coming from the region of Chianti and Etruscan findings, especially from Montecalvario. Don’t miss the best ice cream in Chianti at Antica delizia right at beginnig of the village.
This is a small and delightful hamlet in the heart of the Chianti Classico. Already in the 12th century, Panzano carried out an important defensive role for Florence and its province. The Castle of Panzano was a fundamental bastion in defense of the Republic of Florence during the battles between Florence and Siena. The structure of the castle can still be made out from the most ancient part of the town, even though it was completely rebuilt in 1800 in neo-classical style. One can set off on a pleasant walk and stop for a break in the small wine bars which offer tastings. At Panzano you can briefly visit the Antica Macelleria Cecchini butcher’s shop, a butcher famous for his Florentine steak and where the owner recites parts from Dante’s Divine Comedy while serving customers. Macelleria Cecchini is also a very nice restaurant.
Greve in Chianti
The square is the heart of this town, distinguished by a nearly triangular shape with porticos around three sides of it. At the centre of the square is the statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano, he who discovered the bay of New York. At Greve you can taste the typical products of the area. Under the porticos of the piazza, there are local craftsmen’s shops, many wine bars and restaurants. Amongst these is Antica Macelleria Falorni, very famous and sells only typical products of Chianti,very nice even for snacks and quick lunches.
Radda in Chianti
Leaving the Chiantigiana behind, we reach Radda in Chianti which still preserves its medieval look. The ancient walls still defend the centre, today a labyrinth of streets. Palazzo del Podestà faces over the main square together with the Romanesque church of S. Niccolò. The Palazzo was the seat of the “Lega del Chianti” for over four centuries as confirmed by the numerous coats-of-arms on the façade. Immediately out of the centre rises the ancient Franciscan cloister of S. Maria in Prato. It is truly beautiful to lose oneself in this small hamlet and walk around its medieval streets, drink a glass of wine and admire the amazing view of the hills covered with vineyards which surround the town.
The story of the Black rooster
The legend goes at the times when Florence and Sienna fought to own the wonderful area of Chianti. So one day they decided to risolve the issue in a funny but pacific way to define the border between Florence and Siena: Two noble knights had to wait for the first singing by the rooster in the morning to start riding their horses. Whereever they met,would be the new edges between Florence and Sienna .
The noble knight from Siena chose a white rooster and decided to feed him a lot in the night before with the hope it would sing stronger in the morning.
The knight of Florence chose a black rooster and the day before, left him without food .
In the morning the black rooster of Florence was so hungry he crowed even before the sun rise. The white rooster from Siena on the contrary was sound asleep and started to sing only very late in the morning.
The nobleman from Florence was already only 12 kilometers (7,5 miles) away from Siena when the two knights met. That meant that the most of Chianti area was incorporated to the Republic of Florence.
This is why the “Gallo Nero” ( balck rooster ) is the symbol of the Chianti!!!
Our Personal top 5 Restaurants in Chianti:
- La Torre – Castellina in Chianti
- Re Gallo – Castellina in Chianti
- Locanda Le Piazze – Castellina in Chianti
- Il Gallo Nero – Greve in Chianti
- Antica Macelleria Cecchini – Panzano in Chianti