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Weekend in Chianti: 2 evocative tours in the heart of Tuscany
Short ‘getaways’ are true mini-vacations. How can you fully experience the magic of Chianti, a small paradise in the heart of Tuscany, in just two days? Here some of the best travel tips for your weekend in Chianti.
From Greve in Chianti to Panzano in Chianti
The starting point of this itinerary is Greve in Chianti, the most densely populated village in the Chianti region, which developed in the Middle Ages as a market town and therefore had no fortifications.
The beautiful piazza Matteotti – with the statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano in the centre – is the hub of the town: every Saturday it still hosts the centuries-old tradition of the market, while in the loggias a stop at the Macelleria Falorni, a historic shop selling excellent cold cuts accompanied by a good glass of Chianti Classico wineand at Antonella Ciapetti’s ceramics shop, which has been creating unique and wonderful pieces with her own hands for over thirty years, is a must.
From the centre of Greve in Chianti, there are many options to continue: nearby is the village of Montefiorallereviewed as Italy’s most beautiful village in 2022 (read the article in Il Sole 24 Ore) for its architectural excellence and the authenticity of the place, to which a visit to the cellars of one of the many wine producers along the road should be associated.
Not far away stands another jewel, the Monastery of the Badia di Passignano, still inhabited by monks of the Vallombrosian order, guardians of its cultural and historical treasures.
At the end of the first day, don’t miss the ancient village of Panzano in Chianti, at the top of a hill with a spectacular view of the Conca d’Oro, an ancient valley rich in history and today very vocated for the production of Sangiovese wines.
You can stop to taste the delicacies of Dario Cecchini, the most famous butcher in Chianti, and, just outside Panzano, visit the Pieve di San Leolino, with a three-nave interior, an enchanting cloister and a wonderful view over the Chianti countryside.
From Barberino Val d’Elsa to Castellina in Chianti
A Chianti location that is still little known but worth a visit is Semifonte, already visible from Barberino Val d’Elsa, another village not to be missed. This is where the second itinerary of your weekend in Chianti begins.
Semifonte is an enchanted place rich in history: visit the Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo, near Petrognano, an evocative religious building topped with a dome that reproduces on a reduced scale (1:8) the one realised by Filippo Brunelleschi for the Duomo in Florence.
On the gastronomic theme, a must is cheese tasting at the Trapanotto Farm, a few kilometres away.
A half-hour drive then takes you to the village of Castellina in Chianti, already inhabited by the Etruscans, as testified by the coeval Montecalvario tumulus. Once in the historic centre of the village, walk along Via delle Volte, an evocative covered walkway, built by Brunelleschi, that runs under the supporting arches of the palaces overlooking the main street with openings to the gentle panorama of the Chianti hills.
Every year, during Pentecost in Castellina in Chianti, this street hosts tastings of local wines with the producers. Also linked to the local tradition are the dishes that, together with a good glass of Chianti wine, you will find at the nearby Macelleria Stiaccini.
Finally, near Castellina in Chianti you will find the village of Fonterutoli, once on the border between the states of Florence and Siena (find out more about the Legend of the Black Rooster), where in addition to strolling through the beautiful streets, you will also discover a renowned winery.