Chianti, also known as ‘kee-on-tee,’ is the region between Siena and Florence and is famous since it is the main production zone of Chianti Wine. Whenever you are touring Florence, make a point of adding Chianti region into your list. It is only a few kilometers from Florence town, and you will only need a bus to get there.
Self Guided Tour is Preferable
It is normal to feel scared of starting on a tour to a place you are not familiar with without anyone guiding you but trust me the self guide is much better. This is because you will have the flexibility of stopping over wherever you want and whenever you want. Here at Chianti, it is easy to maneuver your way around and finding your way to the small wineries is much easier.
Self-Guided Driving Tour of Chianti
The Chianti region has various small towns such as; Radda, Gaiole, Greve, Castellina, Strada, Tavarnelle in Val di Pesa, San Casciano, Barberino in Val d'Elsa, Poggibonsi, and Castelnuovo Berardenga
For a day trip in Florence, the preferable towns that you can visit are San Casciano, Castelnuovo Berardenga, and Greve. To get to this towns, you only need to hire a car at Florence. Notably, it is important to keep in mind that for you to be able to drive in Italy, you are required first to obtain an International Driver’s Permit.
To get to Chianti from Florence, you will use the Chiantigiana road which is state highway SS222. The road runs directly south from Florence to Siena passing through the middle of the Chianti Classico Wine zone. Greve in Chianti is known to be the gateway to the Chianti region since it is located along the Chiantigiana road just 30 kilometers from Florence. To obtain a detailed one-day itinerary, you can have more details at https://www.chianti.com/itineraries-in-chianti/one-day-in-chianti.html
Chianti Region From Florence Without a Car
Although it is advisable to hire a car while touring the towns in Chianti, you can also access the towns using a bike or public transportation means. Nevertheless, if you don’t have a car, you will be restricted to only touring the towns near Florence which is Greve. Greve is only 26 Km from Florence which makes it easily accessible by a bus. You only need to take a bus (line 365)near Florence Railway Station (SMN), and you will be at Greve in an hour’s time.
Start your visit at Greve by touring the Cantine di Greve which is an ancient wine cellar. It is also one of the largest and the most important community wine shop in Italy that dates back to 1800. This wine bar is located in the underground basement of the old cellars.
Moreover, there are numerous wineries around Greve from which you can have an incredible wine tasting experience. My favorite winery is the Montefioralle. It is a small vineyard that is approximately 5 acres. The view here is absolutely breathtaking. You will also have the pleasures of enjoying the wine tasting that is offered after the tour.
There are numerous places to visit here at Greve. For lunch, I suggest you visit the famous Castello di Verrazzano. This is a winery that is located three kilometers north of Greve centre. It was the home of Giovanni da Verrazzano who was the explorer that discovered the bay of New York. In 1964, the New York bridge was named after him. After a tour at Castello di Verrazzano, you will be served a four-course meal that is complimented with a glass of their finest wines.
When is the Most Preferred Time to Go for a Guided Tour in Chianti?
Guided tours are mostly preferred when you are visiting a place for the first time. This is because it may get overwhelming when one gets straddled in a place that you are not familiar with. Since there are numerous wineries and locations, an operated tour will work out just fine. Some of the most recommended operators include; Florence Town, Under The Tuscan Sun, Hello Florence & Chianti.
As you get down to the region, you will enjoy the incredible view of the vineyards and the rolling hills. You will also have the pleasures of enjoying the taste or authentic Tuscan Cuisine as well as the renowned Chianti Classico wine. Chianti offers an amazing landscape with green hills that are covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves. There are small stone villages which are characterized by parishes and countryside homes in stone.
You should go alone if you’re keen on wine. If you’re an expert you won’t have any difficulties on choosing the best places where to go.
If you’re not very knowledgeable I suggest you go on an organized tour that will help you with choosing the best places in order not to stumble upon some tourist trap. Certainly, there will be some expert with you that will explain every secret of the wine.