The Chianti is a region of Tuscany synonymous with rolling hills and vineyards. It stretches between Florence and Siena and delights visitors with superb views and top-quality red wines. It’s the perfect destination to enjoy ‘la bella vita‘, or the good life, and fill your senses with some of the most impressive countryside Tuscany has to offer.
The best places to visit in Chianti – Historic towns and food shopping
Radda in Chianti is the historical capital of the region. A hilltop town surrounded by a magnificent landscape of perfectly manicured vineyards, it’s packed with lovely enoteche and restaurants with a laid back atmosphere that makes it a perfect place to stop. The same goes for Castellina in Chianti, the other main hub of the region; a town with a Medieval past and a passion for locally produced food and wine.
Two other places to visit in Chianti are the towns of Greve and Panzano, which steal the spotlight when it comes to food shopping. The renowned Antica Macelleria Falorni is like disneyland for carnivores, with a mouthwatering amount of beautifully presented cured meat and salumi hanging throughout the shop. You’ll find it in the main square of Greve in Chianti. Meanwhile the small town of Panzano is home to the famous butcher-poet Dario Cecchini who has opened an all-meat restaurant “Solociccia” and a Tuscan style burger place above his shop.
Come for the wine, stay for the views
There are different areas in Tuscany that produce Chianti wine, but here we’re at the heart of the Chianti Classico region. Here, passionate wine producers produce a very special blend of wine, using 80% of Sangiovese grapes and a few other varieties allowed by the regulation. Chianti wine is in fact strictly regulated to maintain quality and high standards of production.
When you see the Black Rooster label on a bottle, you’ll know it’s Chianti Classico. This is a ruby-red wine, with aromas of red fruits and a hint of earthy spices. Opportunities to taste these wines are plentiful and various, from small producers right through to the more famous wine estates.
For a truly impressive wine tasting experience, head for Brolio Castle, the Meleto Castle, Badia a Coltibuono, or the the Medieval hamlet of Volpaia. These are places soaked in history and tradition where you can enjoy famous wines and dramatic views of the countryside. For a contemporary experience, the prestigious Cantine Antinori offer visitors a tour of their super-modern facilities and a taste of the good stuff. There’s a lot to know about Chianti wine so prepare yourself with a bit of knowledge before you go.
Picturesque to a fault
Cobbled streets, pretty stone houses adorned with flowery windows. Hidden alleyways, tiny squares and a profusion of terracotta vases. In the Chianti there’s no shortage of picturesque scenes to enjoy, and Montefioralle is arguably the king. This is a Medieval hamlet up on a hill near Greve and well worth a visit if only to take a picture.
A tiny village surrounded by a sea of vineyards – that’s San Gusmè, a one-square village a few kilometres from Castelnuovo Berardenga. Built in the 14th century, part of the original Medieval walls still stand today. It’s a timeless, peaceful place with a couple of nice restaurants, a perfect spot for a relaxing stop.
To help you plan your Chianti trip, here is the best scenic drive in the Chianti region.
Wondering about more charming small towns in Tuscany? We’ve got the answer!