Greve in Chianti is a lively market town justly popular with tourists. It has a large main square framed by a delightful loggia with a variety of shops and the superbly organised Enoteca Falorni. A welcoming town, Greve is the gateway to the Chianti region in Tuscany, it can be reached by car or public bus in an hour from Florence.
Chianti, the rural area that stretches between Florence and Siena, is a land of slow pleasures. Far from the Uffizi queues, and the clamour of the Ponte Vecchio, it’s a place for aimless driving and long languorous lunches. Here you’ll taste some of the finest wines, meats and cheeses you’ll find in Italy.
Greve, the main town in northern Chianti, is no different. Life revolves around the main square Piazza Matteotti, where you can browse through numerous artisan and food shops. The highlight is Antica Macelleria Falorni, where its arrangement of cured meat is bordering on an art form. There’s finocchiona, tuscan salame, chinghiale salame. The Falorni family also runs an amazing Enoteca where wine tasting is organised in a modern and unfussy way. There are over 140 varieties of wine for tasting, and you can try the specialities of the local estates without having to drive there yourself.
There has been a market in this square for centuries. People from the nearby castle of Montefioralle would walk downhill to buy livestock and food, and still do today on a Saturday morning for the lively open-air market – the perfect time to visit the town.
What to see in Greve in Chianti, Tuscany
If you’re up for a bit of sightseeing after lunch, there’s a Sacred Art Museum to satisfy your artistic curiosity. The museum is set in a former Franciscan monastery and displays some lovely terracotta sculptures and paintings from the nearby churches. In particular there’s a 14th century “Annunciation”, a “Virgin Mary and Child with St. Bartholomew and St. Francis” from the Church of Santa Maria a Cintoia. And a “Virgin Mary with child between St. Anthony and St. Lucy” from the Church of Sezzate.
Inside the Church of Santa Croce, a Neoclassical building that overlooks the main square, you’ll find the Gothic style triptych “Virgin with Child” by Bicci di Lorenzo.
Did you know?
The statue in Piazza Matteotti is of Greve’s famous son Giovanni da Verrazzano, the first European to explore the bay of New York in 1524. Apparently he thought the Hudson river was a lake, and sources have it that he got killed and eaten by a native in Guadalupe during his third voyage to America in 1528. The castle that belonged to his family Verrazzano is today a great wine estate that organises tours and wine tasting. The bridge in New York takes his name.
A drive along the green Via del Castello, or a vigorous walk for the most athletic, takes you to the fortified small village of Montefioralle.
For more suggestions for your Chianti trip, check out our detailed driving itinerary in the Chianti region.