Itinerary: San Casciano, Greve in Chianti, Badia a Passignano, Tavarnelle
Chianti tour to discover Medieval villages and Chianti wine
Chianti is the name given to a hilly area located in Tuscany and shared by the provinces of Florence, Siena, and Arezzo. It is a sweet, very pleasant region full of history, where you can feel and breathe the true essence of Tuscany for two main reasons: because of the Hills of Chianti where Chianti Wine, one of the most famous and beloved wines in the world is produced and because this is the area where many Medieval-origin villages and beautiful art cities are scattered that attract thousands of visitors every year.
Let's start from Florance in the direction of San Casciano in Val di Pesa to explore this unique area and its treasures. This cultural and wine-related tour will allow you to stop in some charming villages and enjoy stunning views of the hills and the vineyards kissed by the sun.
San Casciano in Val di Pesa (pic n°4) is located halfway between Florence and Siena. Surrounded by Medieval walls, the town obviously is one of the most productive centers for the production of Chianti Classico (pic n°2), and it can boast some beautiful tourist attractions as well. Church of Santa Maria al Prato preserves lots of works of art, but also, the Romanesque-style Pieve di San Pancrazio or Pieve di Santo Stefano in Campoli is worth a visit. The town offers lots of other remarkable buildings to visit, such as the theater, the library, and the interesting town museum. Many castles and villas are spread in their surroundings such as Machiavelli's house in Sant'Andrea in Percussina.
Today San Casciano is a tourist-friendly lively city. You will find many shops, bars, and restaurants where to taste the excellent local cuisine and the famous Chianti wine. In case you would overnight here, there are many characteristic Farm Holiday Hotels nearby you can't miss. They are called "Agriturismo" in Italian and are very popular because they offer genuine homemade local products and because they are located in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. San Casciano and its surrounding area offer amazing views and the typical atmosphere of a picturesque village in the Chianti region.
Moving on, the route that runs from San Casciano in Val di Pesa to Greve in Chianti is one of the most beautiful and suggestive ones among the routes in the Chianti region. (pic n°3). Along the route towards Siena, you will meet some small charming villages before getting to Greve in Chianti (pic n°5). Again, it is impossible to separate the history of this town from the wine-production tradition. Do not miss a visit to Piazza Giacomo Matteotti and its wineries but also to the many churches and castles scattered in the town and on the outskirts.
Then, after 8 kilometers of driving west of Greve in Chianti, you will reach Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo located in Passignano, or as it is simply called Badia a Passignano. (pic n°1). It is a wonderful castle-looking monastery, dating back to the Middle Ages, surrounded by ancient walls. Its outstanding interiors include a well-kept garden with a fountain, a historic kitchen, the dining hall, and a fresco of The Last Supper by Ghirlandaio, among others. The abbey is nestled in a beautiful environment with rows of Tuscan cypress trees and several wineries around, where the local Chianti, called Chianti Classico Badia a Passignano Riserva is produced with pride.
When your visit is over you can go back to San Casciano first and then take the highway that will take you back to Florence.
The tour starts and ends in Florence
It is long about 77 kilometers
Read also: Chianti, the world-renowned Italian wine produced in Tuscany
Some pictures about Chianti area:
Abbey of Passignano (pic n°1); Chianti Classico (pic n°2); Chianti valley (pic n°3); San Casciano in Val di Pesa (pic n°4); Greve in Chianti (pic n°5); Chianti vineyard (pic n°6);