Wine tourism in Florence and Tuscany
Chianti, with its strong and aromatic flavour, is one of Italy’s most prestigious wines. This deep-red coloured wine is produced in a region situated between Siena, Arezzo and Florence with marvellous landscapes and occupying a large part of Tuscany.
Tuscany is one of the richest Italian regions in history, art and culture. Famous for its pleasant climate, its museums and its picturesque towns, it also has the perfect soil for growing grapevines, with beautiful landscapes and rolling hills.
There are 14 official routes in the region, indicated by signs with “stradda del vino”, each one corresponding to one of the main Chianti production centres and any other that you choose, where you can taste some delicious wines and discover charming new places.
Here we would like to suggest a route running from Florence to Siena, where you can wander around areas scattered with olive trees, castles and vineyards where they grow the Sangiovese grape, the main variety used to produce Chianti. Of course, you can also visit various wine cellars and learn about the wine-making process before tasting it and buying some.
Situated very close to Florence and perched on a hilltop, is San Casiano in Val di Pesa, a great place to stop off first and famous for being the hiding place of Maquiavelo who fled from the Medici family. The city is home to a medieval tower and the Gabbiano and Bibbione castles located on the outskirts.
Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a town with numerous churches and a rich cultural heritage is the next place to come up on our chianti wine tour. A short distance away you will find the medieval town of Barberito Val d’Elsa, awarded for its successful attempts to promote tourism and care for the environment at the same time. Amongst its squares and narrow streets, there are diverse palaces and chapels. Higher up in the area, there is also a great place where you can admire the Chianti region.
Greve in Chianti, a small town that was located on an important road in olden times and whose triangular square was used as a market, is now surrounded by arches. There are numerous castles located on its outskirts that are worth a visit, such as that in Verrazzano.
Castellina in Chianti, is another one of the main production centres in Chianti. It is a medieval town, although it has Etruscan origins, located a few kilometres away from Siena and it is definitely a place to stop off at along the way. To the west, situated on a hill is Radda in Chianti, with remains of walls and towers, as well as streets with a medieval layout.
Another place that we recommend you visit is Gaiole in Chianti, surrounded by lush green hills. It is home to Brogoli Castle and is a popular place to visit with one of the largest wine cellars in the area.
We conclude our Chianti wine route with the lovely town of Siena. You will love its impressive white and blue marble cathedral, narrow streets and Campo Square, where the famous Palio horse race is held every august.
Taking a walk through this area is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some nice wine, explore the beautiful countryside there and discover the local history and culture.