Itinerary: Firenze, Ponte a Ema, Strada in Chianti, Greve in Chianti
Chianti Wine Road in Tuscany among vineyards and sweet hills
Chianti hills (Colline del Chianti) are a 20-kilometer range of gentle hills and one of the most evocative areas of Tuscany. It spreads among the provinces of Florence, Siena, Arezzo, and it is mostly famous for the production of Chianti wine, one of the most popular wines worldwide. And yet, this is an extremely charming area also thanks to its iconic landscape, scattered with churches, castles and Medieval villages that are nestled among boundless vineyards, olive groves and typical rows of cypresses on the hills.
In 2008, Strada del Vino e dell'Olio del Chianti Classico (the wine and oil road of Chianti) was born as an association to protect and promote this charming route that goes along the hills, touching some picturesque villages in the provinces of Florence and Siena. The Road wants to serve as a convenient way to explore the remains of the past (Etruscan and Romans both lived in this area) and the unique landscapes and products of Tuscany.
The famous Strada Chiantigiana (Strada Regionale 222) links Florence (from one of its districts, called Badia a Ripoli) to Siena, crossing the beautiful hills, as well as many Medieval villages that are worth a visit such as Barberino Valdelsa, Castellina in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Poggibonsi, Radda in Chianti, San Casciano Val di Pesa, Tavernelle Val di Pesa, and many others.
Do not miss a visit to Castello Brolio, where, according to the legend, politician and Florence mayor Bettino Ricasoli invented the real "recipe" of Chianti wine!
The best way to explore this area is getting lost along the road and stopping in one of these beautiful villages, usually featuring Medieval buildings, small churches and quaint narrow alleys. In any of the villages, you will be able to find a lot of restaurants, taverns, wineries, holiday houses and farms, rural hotels, (called "Agriturismo" that are very popular in this region) where to go for a wine or oil tasting, alone or guided by experts.
The delicious Chianti Classico wine is usually served together with the typical local products of the area and the whole Tuscany such as cheeses, meat, cold cuts, game, oil, and pasta dishes.