Chianti in the heart of Tuscany

Contents

Geographical location

Tuscany has more to offer than a vast hilly landscape and cypress trees. This also applies to the Chianti in Tuscany. But where is the 'heart' of Tuscany actually?

The Chianti area stretches between those cities Florence, Arezzo and Siena. Geographically, it is a mountain range and its surrounding area, which is partly bordered by the Val di Chiana and partly runs into gentler hills. The highest point in the Monti del Chianti is the summit of San Michele, which is 893 meters above sea level.

From the mountains you have a wide view of the Valdarno. In total, however, the mountains are only about twenty kilometers long. Chianti is shaped by viticulture.

Explore the Chianti in Tuscany

At first, the hills and mountains of Chianti do not look like a wine-growing region, and yet you have the opportunity to try Chianti in every village. There are many places to rest. There are just as many ways to get to know Chianti.

By car there are two options. Either you follow the Valdarno valley along the A1 and turn into the Chianti area. Or you can follow the RA3 from Florence towards Pruneta. From there we recommend taking the Sp92 direction Siena to follow. There are many interesting towns in Chianti that reflect both the wine-growing tradition and their own History tell.

Where's the Chianti?

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Special places in Chianti

Impruneta

The city already mentioned above consists of four districts. She lives a long tradition of terracotta handicraft. But the culture of viticulture is also omnipresent. The big wine festival, which is celebrated every autumn, is famous.
The church of Santa Maria di Impruneta is attractive. The church dates back to the 11th century and, in addition to a famous painting, also houses a museum.

Greve in Chianti

The capital of Chianti. The center is the peculiarly shaped local square. It has an approximately triangular shape, the acute angle of which tapers towards the church. The square is surrounded by medieval buildings. A deliberately quiet place where you can stroll and relax.

Montefioralle

This medieval village is located in the middle of a hill. The old cobbled streets and historical buildings give a nice glimpse into the past of medieval architecture. Today this place is also a center of viticulture.

Volpaia

Another medieval village that grew up around a castle. Here too, viticulture plays a major role today.

Radda

Although Radda is also located on a hill, the entire urban area extends over a height difference of 250 meters over 80 m². It is located on a very old settlement point. It is very likely that the Etruscans lived here. In addition to the Palazzo Pretorio from the Middle Ages and the Church of San Nicoló, there are numerous sights to discover. In the immediate vicinity are the churches of Santa Maria Novella, which houses a beautiful painting, and Santa Maria in Colle a Badiola, from where you have a beautiful view.
The Romanesque parish church of San Giusto in Salcio is also worth a visit. This parish already belongs to the province of Gaiole.

Gaiole

The city of Gaiole offers a wonderful panoramic view. The city is surrounded by numerous castles. Gaiole is a good starting point for hikes.

Monteriggioni

The medieval center of this city is the best preserved in the whole of Chianti. The huge city wall is impressive. The two towers of the place, which are already mentioned in Dante's work, are unmistakable.

Castellina

This quiet place is not medieval but of Etruscan origin. Evidence of this can be found in the local museum. From Castellina you have a beautiful view of the Chianti valley.

Poggibonsi

Those who want to learn more about the Etruscans can visit the necropolis outside of Poggibonsi. The city is located in the Val d'Elsa. The hill foothills in the area are characterized by viticulture. Wine is celebrated here in autumn in a festival. An ancient technique of pressing is demonstrated.

Montespertoli

The town of Montespertoli is also of Etruscan origin. It is already in the lowlands. The annual Chianti exhibition is interesting. During several festive days, the region's wines are celebrated in a big way. Tastings, parades, concerts and more take place.

From legend to history

You can see that Chianti is diverse. This not only affects the localities, but also the history.
It is therefore not surprising that many legends and legends have formed in Tuscany with this colorful color. The legend of Brolio Castle is important in Chianti.

The magnificent complex, built in the Middle Ages, was inherited by the heir Bettino Ricasoli in the 19th century. He got the nickname 'The Iron Baron'. He ruled successfully but fearfully. Strange events accumulated after his death: a sudden icy draft of wind, doors and windows slamming, his coffin could not be lifted at the funeral. Several people claim to have seen him after his death.
As the above little trip through the places already indicated, the Chianti in Tuscany experienced several significant epochs.

At first the Etruscan culture had a decisive influence. It also owes its name to it. The river Chiana is called the Etruscan clanis. Finally, the Etruscans had to prevail against the Romans. That worked quite well in Chianti. Historical Roman sites such as the Trasumenian Sea are on the edge or outside.
The next great epoch was the Middle Ages. Many places were created at that time and have been preserved to this day. Viticulture has been an important factor for centuries.

The Chianti wine

While the Chianti growing area is larger than the Chianti area today, it almost coincides with the Chianti classico growing area. This area was notarized in 1924. These include the municipalities:

  • Castellina in Chianti
  • Gaiole
  • Greve
  • Radda
  • partly Barberino Tavarnelle
  • Castelnuovo Berardenga
  • Poggibonsi
  • San Casciano

Chianti wine is not a grape variety, but a fixed blend. Baron Ricasoli, mentioned in the legend, found the perfect mixture, which was hardly changed later. Although the name Chianti is protected, each place has its own tradition. This is how the fine regional differences in wine come about.

Last updated: 29.02.2024

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