If you passage out from the A1 motorway at “Firenze Sud”, you will encounter the Florence – Siena road. It seems that these two antique cities, Florence and Siena, never really wanted to “get closer” regardless of their rescrited geographic distance. For centuries, in fact, these beautiful hills were the theatre of cruel battles between the governors of Florence and those of Siena. But if you consider about Chianti, the principal thing that comes to your mind might be its wine production, since this institution has been effected there for three centuries. Today, the Chianti Classico wine has become famous all over the world, with the denomination that associates these provinces and with its symbol, the “Gallo Nero” (black roaster).
To arrive at these productive hills, leave the Firenze-Siena roadway at the Poggibonsi exit. There you’ll arrive at a series of country roads that pass through forests and mounts which divide them from the principal urban centers of the territory, full of history and antique fortresses. To illustrate the Chianti, just think that in every single extension exposed to the sun there are vineyards and olive trees. It’s doubtlessy the reason so many outlanders are exceptionally attracted by these territories.
The most proximate city to Florence is Greve in Chianti, where the predominant fascination is the funnel-shaped piazza Matteotti, encircled by arcades with small shops and emporiums selling local products and creations. There, you can also meet some “historic” butchers selling: wild boar, cinta senese, and Florentine T-bone steaks (the famous “Fiorentina”). On the longer side of this triangular square, you’ll find the public edifice, home to a attractive statue by Mitoraj.
From Greve in Chianti, proceeding south toward Siena, you will meet the so-called “Chianti Triangle”, embracing the towns of Castellina in Chianti, Radda in Chianti and Gaiole in Chianti. Castellina and Radda have very nice city centers, saturated of cafes and restaurants provisioning good food and, of course, wine tastings. While Gaiole is planar, the other two towns are positioned in the hills and they also exhibit beautiful panoramas of the surrounding countryside. Near Gaiole, there are smaller towns that merit visit, together them Lecchi and Vertine. In the same locality, there are two castles, extraordinary for their beauty and for the fact that they host two of the most important wineries in the area: Meleto and Brolio, appertaining to Barone Ricasoli, prince of Florence.
The Castle of Meleto coordinates guided tours of the castle’s main floor and its little theatre and cellars. It also presents events and weddings (there is the parish church of Spaltenna, dating back to the tenth century).
The Castle of Brolio can be contacted by driving, walking or cycling along a 600-meter extreme road. The Ricasoli Barons still reside there, but you can visit the gardens, the private altar and the crypt, where family members are interred. Part of the secret and remote interior of the castle can be visited only through guided tours. If you regard out of the castle, you can observe Italian-style gardens and vineyards as far as the eye can see. This is the most representative Tuscan scenery: vineyards, olive groves, white dirt roads and sequences of cypress trees.