|Featured in this article|
- Chianti Classico Villages
- Chianti Castles
- Chianti Classico Wine
- L’Eroica: a vintage bike race
Chianti Classico Villages
Although the area of production of Chianti wine is actually quite large, people usually identify Chianti with the Chianti Classico wine zone. This picturesque, oval-shaped territory situated between Florence and Siena, includes the municipalities of Greve, Panzano, Radda, Gaiole and Castellina.
These cities and villages saw their brightest time during the Middle Ages which thanks to their strategic position, played a central role in the conflict between Florence and Siena. Centuries-old tradition and stunning landscapes are what characterise these villages, which are definitely worth visiting.
Greve in Chianti is considered the gate into Chianti. This lively town is famous for its triangular shaped piazza, with large porticos on the side. This square has hosted the local market since the Middle Ages.
Panzano in Chianti is the most populous town in Chianti, and from the 12th century the town played an important defensive role for Florence and its county. But even more relevant, thanks to its strategic position, was Castellina in Chianti. Confirming this glorious past, the massive Rocca (castle) stands proudly over the city. When in Castellina, we also recommend you visit the Archaeological Museum of Sienese Chianti, where many archaeological findings, particularly Etruscan, are displayed.
Radda in Chianti is a well-preserved mediaeval town, with ancient walls that defend the centre and maze-like streets. Gaiole in Chianti also dates back to the medieval period, when it used to be an important marketplace in the area. In the surroundings there are many castles and fortified towns that deserve a visit, keep reading if you want to know more.
A perfect way to discover the many gems scattered in the Chianti area is to take the SS222 Route, also known as Chiantigiana. This beautiful panoramic road goes from north to south through the Chianti hills, crossing numerous inhabited centres and vineyards.
| Do you want to know which are The Best Restaurants in Chianti? Read our dedicated article.
The castles of Chianti are the clearest evidence of this area as a borderland, disputed by the powerful cities of Florence, Arezzo and Siena during the Middle Ages .
Very important to discover from both an architectural and historical point of view, various Chianti manors can also be visited following a route called the Strada dei Castelli del Chianti. The route is divided into 6 itineraries:
- Brown Route: Pieve di Spaltenna, Vertine, Uliveta, S. Donato in Perano, Vistarenni
- Red Route: Tornano, Morelline, Cacchiano, Monte Lodoli
- Yellow Route: Gaiole, Barbischio, Capannelle, Cancelli, Castello di Montegrossi, Badia a Coltibuono
- Purple Route: Vertine, Meleto, Rietine, Castagnoli, Starda, Monte Luco della Beraredenga, Montecastelli
- Orange Route: Campi, San Sano, Monteluco di Lecchi, San Polo in Rosso, Galenda, Le Selve
- Blue Itinerary: San Giusto a Rentennano (alle Monache), Lucignano, La Torricella, Castello di Brolio
All of these routes can be travelled on foot or by bicycle, which is a great opportunity to fully appreciate the Chianti landscape and nature. Furthermore, some of these castles are wine producers, perfect if you want to combine sightseeing and wine tasting - more to come on the next section.
Among the numerous options, we suggest visiting Monteriggioni, a walled village, Castello di Volpaia and Castello di Fonterutoli, both wine producers. If you need help in organising your visit, whether that be a travel itinerary specially tailored to you, or simply bicycle rental to explore the Chianti landscape, please don’t hesitate to contact our team; we will be happy to support you.
Chianti Classico Wine
The Chianti region is characterised by a combination of almost perfect weather and soil that produces a precious wine, considered one of the best wines in the world.
The tradition of cultivating vines in Chianti goes back a long time in history to the Etruscans that inhabited the area before the Roman Empire. Today Chianti wine is produced in several areas in the region, and the area of production determines the denomination:
- Chianti Classico, also called “Gallo Nero'' is the more well-known of the Chianti wines and is produced in the area between Florence and Siena.
- Chianti Colli Aretini, produced in the hills towards Arezzo.
- Chianti Colli Fiorentini, produced in the hills around Florence.
- Chianti Colli Senesi, produced in the hills around Siena.
- Chianti Colline Pisane, produced in the hills towards Pisa.
- Chianti Montalbano, produced in the Montalbano hills around Pistoia.
- Chianti Montespertoli, produced in the Montespertoli, near Florence.
- Chianti Rufina, produced in the hills near Rufina, to the east of Florence.
While enjoying your dream vacation in Chianti, you can’t miss taking a wine tour and tasting the region's delicacies. Here’s our dedicated article on The Best Chianti Vineyards You Must Visit where you will find all you need to start planning your tour.
L’Eroica: a vintage bike race
Last but not least, Chianti is also the homeland of Eroica, a unique cycling event.
L'Eroica was born in 1997 in Gaiole in Chianti, and it combines challenging routes (hence the name, the Italian for “heroic”), magnificent Tuscan landscapes, and a love for vintage. In fact, all the participants ride vintage bikes and wear old fashion garments accordingly.
It is inspired by Coppi and Bartali, two of the greatest Italian cyclists, who had a heroic approach to sport and life. In addition to his legendary career - and rivalry with Coppi - Bartali is also known for playing an active role in helping the Jewish community during WW2, carrying documents and passport photos inside the bicycle frame, to help Jewish refugees escape.
From the original event in Gaiole, Eroica has grown into a global movement, a network of events attracting tens of thousands of cyclists and fans of all ages around the world. It has become a real lifestyle for locals and tourists alike.
Chianti offers the best of Tuscany countryside, encompassing stunning landscapes and historic castles with wine tasting and vintage cycling routes, the perfect combination for your dream holiday. Don’t wait any longer and start planning your perfect stay, contact us to find out more about our range of villas to rent in Chianti with a private pool.
The Salogi Team of local experts will be happy to support you in tailoring your dream vacation. Please feel free to contact us to explore our Tuscany villas to rent, and discuss your next Italian adventure today.
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