Here are 6 places that you should put on your Chianti bucket list:
Montefioralle is one of the most picturesque country towns in Chianti. There are beautiful cobblestone streets, hardly any cars, and vineyards stretching away in every direction. This little town is rich in history and offers nature hikes and a range of Tuscan cuisine.
Greve is the town that is generally considered the gateway to the rest of the Chianti region, and is a lively little place that has a lot of Tuscan culture to offer without going too far away. You can taste test Chianti wine, visit bars and restaurants, go to the wine museum, and go to the butcher that only sells local products made in the region.
Panzano is an old town that is just south of Greve, and it is another place where you can soak up the Tuscan culture and wander through history. Particular points of interest include the historic church of Santa Maria, wandering through the quiet back streets, drinking local wine in the main square, and visiting Pieve di San Leolino, an old rural church built back in 982!
Radda is another town in the Chianti area, and this place is characterized by its medieval origins. This town still maintains its historic structures as the maze-like streets were defended by the wall that surrounds the city. This is a great place to soak up history and to drink wine while watching the rolling hills and surrounding area go by in the sun. It is also worth going out to the castle of Volpaia, an ancient town located just outside Radda where you can discover some of the ancient arts of winemaking.
5. San Gimignano
San Gimignano is an ancient town located southwest of Florence, perched on top of the picturesque Tuscan hills. Take a day tour through one of the local wineries, and go explore the iconic towers that dominate the Tuscan skyline.
If you are looking for something other than wine, you could consider going to the town of Impruneta. This area is known for being the main centre for terracotta manufacturing, as well as becoming famous for hand painted ceramics. This town is an easy day drive from Florence, and often holds lively local events in the town centre during summer. Visit in September and October if you want to take advantage of the wine, the olive harvest, and the Festa of St. Luke.
Best way to get to these Chianti towns
Best would be to hire a car and drive along these three roads from Florence
- Superstrada Firenze-Siena
- Strada Statale (SS) 222
- Strada Statale 2 Cassi
Car is the most practical way to discover Chianti towns. If you do not have access to cars, you can still make do with public transport.
Chianti is in between two cities: Florence and Siena. So that is divided in “Chianti Fiorentino” and “Chianti Senese”. Even if they communicate, they can be pretty different.
In my opinion, the most beautiful place in Chianti is Castellina in Chianti, which is closer to Siena. But if you have a car, the journey is worthy. Not only is it there where the best wine is produced, it’s also a beautiful and quaint village. Given that is not a big city as Florence is, many of the original craftsmen's workshops have remained and still continue their job.
Also, Gaiole in Chianti, also closer to Siena, is very interesting and peculiar.