Agriturismo Cesani San Gimignano - Siena La Lastra Siena Visit of vineyards
and cellar with wine tasting and light-lunch Relais della Rovere hotel relais colle val d'elsa Siena Bed Breakfast La Fornace di Racciano  San Gimignano - Siena Le Caggiole farmhouse in San Gimignano

Chiantishire

The Chianti territory with its hilly countryside of incomparable beauty lies in the heart of Tuscany.


ChiantiThe Chianti territory with its hilly countryside of incomparable beauty lies in the heart of Tuscany.
  Administered by both the Provinces of Florence and Siena, during the Middle Ages it was harshly contested by these two rival cities until 1555 when the Medicis imposed their hegemony on all of Tuscany.
It is difficult to trace its borders since only the mountains of Chianti in the East separate it from Upper Valdarno in a natural and neat way; the remaining territory fades into the hills of the Arbia, Elsa, Greve and Pesa rivers.
Mediaeval villages, castles, churches, abbeys, monasteries, cottages and villas lie one after the other in a fantastic itinerary that exalts the activity and inventiveness of man; centuries of work have modelled the hills of this region and the alternation of the olive groves and the forests creates a harmony unique to the world.
The proposed itineraries follow two principal guide‑lines that cross the Chianti region also suggesting two different ways to "read" the countryside. Along Via Cassia, or alternatively the faster Florence‑Siena Superstrada, one can follow again th e paths once taken by pilgrims and wayfarers who, during the Middle Ages, reached Rome from Northern Europe with everything that it had to bear: parìsh churches, small towns, hospices, abbeys. Via Chiantigiana, on the other hand, is a more rural path that throughout its length crosses the classic wine region.
In any case, the visitor will be offered an unforgettable countryside always varying and harmonious and so diverse in colours and in atmosphere with the changing seasons. There are many ways to get to one of the parish churches, castles or isolated towns, silent witnesses to the historical and artistic richness of the Chianti region.
It does not matter how one gets there: whether by car, motorcycle, bicycle or bus, there are many possibilities for staying and enl . oying a few days' holiday in the relaxing atmosphere of Chianti, tasting the gastronomic specialties of the region accompanied by wines that have made Chianti famous all over the world.
ChiantishireVia Cassia
Today's Via Cassia does not corrispond, in the Tuscan section, to the ancient Roman road and not even to Via Francigena, the mediaeval trail that ran along the Valdelsa valley. It was however an important main road that the pilgrims and merchants took to get to Via Francigena at Poggibonsi. Since the XV century it was called "strada regia romana" and represented the main road between Florence and Rome until the construction of the Autosole autoway.
Since Via Cassia passes through many urban centres and is at times rather congested with traffic, the hurried tourist may choose to take the Florence‑Siena Autostrada that can be abandoned whenever one wishes to visit one of the proposed locations.
Before reaching Via Cassia, Galluzzo's Certosa is worth a visit. It rises on the hills of Montaguto to the south of Florence. Founded by Niccolò Acciaiuoli in the XIV century for the purpose of housing young Florentines who wished to leam the liberal arts. It is surrounded by high walls, that together with the majestic Palazzo degli Studi bestow upon it the aspect of a foriress. Preserved inside Certosa, now inhabited by a group of Benedictine Cistercian monks, are some important works of art, among whìch there are 5 lunettoni (crescent shaped paintings), frescoes of scenes of the Passion by Pontormo painted between 1523 and 1525 during his permanence there while escaping the plague that had hit Florence.

chiantiSAN CASCIANO VAL DI PESA

Property of the Florentine bishops since its foundation, San Casciano was annexed to the Florentine Republic in the XIII century and was subsequently fortified, turning it into a castle of defense against the dangers that originated in the Sienese countryside. Many traces of the boundary walls and the mediaeval towers remain even today. The Museum of Sacred Art set up inside the Church of S. Maria del Gesù holds precious works of art from all over the region. The altar frontal attributed to Coppo di Marcovaldo representing San Michele Arcangelo and tales of his legend and the Madonna and Child by A. Lorenzetti are certainly the two most important works. Among the principal monuments are the Collegiata and the Church of Mercy (or S. Maria al Prato) that preserves a rich patrimony of works of art, including a Crucifix by Simone Martini.
The churches in the area are numerous and bear witness to the importance of S. Casciano in the MiddIe Ages, many of which are worth a visit, including the parish churches of S. Cecilia a Decimo a little out of the inhabited centre, S. Giovanni in Sugana in the Cerbaia direction; and S. Stefano a Campoli (dated 903) in the vicinity of Mercatale Val di Pesa.
We also remind you of the many villas around S. Casciano, including Villa i Collazzi and Villa Tattoli near Cerbaia and, in S. Andrea in Percussina, Villa Bossi‑Pucci so‑called Albergaccio, famous for Niccolò Machiavelli's stay.

tavarnelle val di pesaTAVARNELLE VAL DI PESA
It owes its name to the "tabernulae", the stop‑over and rest points along the "via regia" that linked Florence to Siena and then to Rome. This area has numerous interesting churches.
At one extreme of the inhabited area there is the church of S. Lucia al Borghetto (XIII century) an ex‑franciscan convent in Gothic style where a precious Crucifix of thirteenth‑century school and an Annunciation by Neri di Bicci are kept. Just out of Tavamelle, after leaving Via Cassia, one reaches Morrocco where it is possible to visit the church of S. Maria del Carmine, built in the 1400's and then largely remodelled. Inside, a glazed terracotta of the Annunciation in Andrea della Robbia's style is preserved, and a serics of fresco fragments from the 1400's. Not far from Morrocco is the old parish church of S. Pietro in Bossolo. In the presbytery, there is the Museum of Sacred Art where works from the churches of small abandoned towns are preserved. Among some of the most important works we must mention a series of panels executed in 1473 by Neri di Bicci for the church of S. Maria al Morrocco and a pall with the Madonna and Child between S. Martino and S. Sebastiano by the so‑called Maestro di Tavamelle.
In the territory of Tavarnelle San Donato in Poggio is definitely worth a visit. It is a small medieval village that still preserves notable remains of boundary walls, buildings of the 1200‑1300's, the Renaissance Malaspina Palace, the church of S. Maria della Neve (XV century) in Gothic style and the Ronianesque parish church of San Donato where a beautiful baptismal font in glazed terracotta by G. della Robbia is kept.
From Sambuca along the road to Greve, one comes across the majestic Passignano Abbey founded in 1049 by monks from the Vallombrosian order. Immersed in the countryside, surrounded by an intense cultivation of olives, the abbey is striking for its fortress‑like appearance, with its walls and battlement towers. Among the numerous works of art preserved in the abbey one must remember Passignano's frescoes (1601) in the main chapel and above all the fresco of the Last Supper by Domenico and Davide Ghirlandaio (1476‑77) in the refectory of the monastery.

ChiantiBARBERINO VAL D'ELSA

Founded by the Florentines in a strategic position to resist the expansion of the Semifonte castle, Barberino still preserves its medieval appearance with its fortified walls, tower‑houses, the Pretorio Palace (XIV century), the Pilgrim's Hospital (XIV century) and the church of S. Bartolomeo. .
From Barberino, following the road to Certaldo, one arrives at the remains of the Semifonte castle which was destroyed by the Florentines in 1202 after a long siege. Not long after the end of the 1500's the chapel of S. Michele Arcangelo was erected, according to a project by Santi di Tito, to commemorate Semifonte.
Continuing on in the direction of Certaldo the romanesque parish church of S. Appiano can. be found, one of the oldest to be found in the Florentine countryside dated around the XI century. The interesting cross‑shaped columns in front of the church bear witness to the existence of an ancient baptistry.

After Barberino Val d'Elsa Via Cassia continues on but leaves the Chianti region. Those who would like to follow it may visit Poggibonsi, Colle Val d'Elsa and Monteriggioni and then Siena. A deviation from Poggibonsi for S. Gimignano is highly recommended.

VIA CHIANTIGIANAVIA CHIANTIGIANA
It has always been and is still an important main road that links Florence and Siena and maintains still today a more markedly rural character than that of Via Cassia. The first part of the itinerary suggested hereafter initially follows the SS 484 from Castelnuovo Berardenga to Radda and Castellina in Chianti. It is only here in Castellina that one enters the SS 222 Chiantigiana to go to Florence. In order to get to many of the suggested points, it wilI be necessary to deviate onto secondary roads.

IMPRUNETA
Impruneta
was already inhabited in the Etruscan and Roman era, and during the Middle Ages was tied to the political and economic affairs of nearby Florence. The real propulsory centre of the community of Impruneta was the parish Church of S. Maria, founded in 1060, that became, in a short time, an important sanctuary to the Virgin Mary. The church, originally in Romanesque style, underwent numerous revisions over the centuries, and at present only the original crypt has been preserved, while the church presents a sober Renaissance‑style appearance.
Inside, works by important artists are kept, including some by Michelozzo and Luca della Robbia and an miraculous icon of the Madonna is venerated ‑ which tradition says was painted by Luke the Evangelist.
chianti area The veneration of the Madonna of Impruneta has encouraged the accumulation of precious gifts and votive offerings over the centuries, which are now kept in the Museum of Sacred Art adjacent to the church together with miniature manuscripts, gold and silver. Thanks to the great tradition of the earthenware and terracotta kilns, the cotto of Impruneta has become a characterizing and distinctive element of the architecture and of the Tuscan countryside, beyond being a famous product exported all over the world.
The Buondelmonti piazza, the traditional market‑place, has been made famous with a drawing by J. Callot in 1620 that represents the Fair of S. Luca in October.

GREVE IN CHIANTI

Greve is situated at the intersection of the roads that Iinked Florence and Siena and Upper Valdarno and the Valdelsa. It began to develop as a "market place" for the principal castles of the area in the XIII century. Greve's main piazza, is characterized by an original formation of irregular triangular shape, defined by beautiful long porticos.
GREVE IN CHIANTI Today it is still an important point of exchange, particularly on the occasion of the Mostra Mercato del Chianti Classico (Chianti Classico, Wine Fair) that takes place there every year in September. The Monterioralle castle dominates Greve, which still maintains intact the original mediaeval town structure with a narrow ring‑road that follows on to mect the little church of S. Stefano, where an. interesting twelfth‑century Madonna and Child is preserved.
The castles of Uzzano, Verrazzano, Vicchiomaggio and Lamole are also notable. A short distance from Greve, in the Panzano direction, Vignamaggio Villa can be found, where, according to tradition, Mona Lisa ‑ made famous by Leonardo ‑ was born. The Romanesque parish church of Panzano or S. Leolino, dating back to the X century, preserves important works of art, including a precious panel with the Madonna on the throne Saints Peter and Paul and stories of the two saints, attributed to Meliore di Jacopo (XIII century).

CASTELLINA IN CHIANTI
Long‑standing feudal domain of the Trebbio family, Castellina passed over to Florence in the XV century that surrounded it with walls making it one of the most important battlement locations against Siena. The medieval fort dominates the country, but that which bears witness more than anything else to Castellina's medieval past is surely the Via delle Volte, a walkway set into the walls of the town which offers, limited but exceptional panorama, seen through the arrow­slits.
Just outside the inhabited centre lies the Etruscan ipogeo (underground cave) of Montecalvario, a rather imposing grave for dimensions dated to the VII‑VI century B.C. that, together with other tombs identified in various other locations, bears witness to the Etruscan presence in Chianti.

RADDA IN CHIANTIRADDA IN CHIANTI
Radda in Chianti
is on the boundary of Florentine and Sienese territories and was often involved in troubled historic affairs. It was the headquarters for the Lega of the Chianti region ‑ an autonomous jurisdiction created by the Florentine Republic in 1250 which also included Castellina, Gaiole and Greve.
Apart from the urbanistic structure in an elongated elliptical plan, there remains in medieval style only a few sections of the periphery walls and various towers. The Pretorio Palace however, is of interest, built in the 1400's and adorned with official mayoral stems.
Only a short distance from Radda, in the direction of Lucarelli and Panzano, indications for the Romanesque parish church of S. Maria Novella are found, unique in the Chianti territory for its capitals decorated with animalistic symbols, monstrous figures and floral drawings that bring to mind the Romanesque parish churches of Valdarno and Casentino.
The Volpaia castle is a small mediaeval agglomeration that is certainly worth a visit. Inside the walls is a Iabyrinth of little paved lanes preserved between arches, palazzos and the little Renaissance church of S. Eufrosino (XV century).

GAIOLE IN CHIANTIGAIOLE IN CHIANTI
During the Middle Ages it was an important market place, developed along the road for Valdarno. The numerous castles and parish churches in the vicinity bear witness to an intense and prosperous agricultural and commercial activity. Among the castles, which were all established in the Middle Ages, of particular interest is Vertine, also Meleto with its two majestic rounded angular towers, Barbischio, and above all Brolio castle. A patrol walkway runs on top of the walIs and bastions that surround the town, from which one can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Chianti region and the Sienese countryside. The castle, completely destroyed in 1478, was reconstructed in the last century on Bettino Ricasoli's wish.
At less than 1 km from Gaiole, the beautiful Romanesque parish church of Spaltenna is worth a visit, while on the road to Valdarno, immersed in the green of age‑old fir‑trees, is the Abbey at Coltibuono. A large part of the majestic complex of the abbey that was constructed by the Vallombrosan monks is now private property, the Romanesque church and the massive embattled bell­ tower.

CASTELNUOVO BERARDENGACASTELNUOVO BERARDENGA
Castelnuovo Berardenga is a southern offshoot of Chianti. The original town dates back to the IX century when it was a feudal complex called "terra berardinga", but only a thirteenth‑century tower and a piece of the periphery wall remain of the old arrangement.
However, of architectural relevance, overhanging the town is Villa Chigi Saracìni with its large park.


Chianti: discover the area

  • Chianti museums Chianti museums
    Chianti museums: Museo di Arte Sacra of Impruneta, Basilica di Santa Maria of Impruneta, Museo di Santa Maria sul Prato of San Casciano val di Pesa, Museo di San Cascinao
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  • Barberino Val D'elsa Barberino Val D'elsa
    A winding hilly road, once the ancient Via Cassia and now State road n° 2, leads up to the town of Barberino Val d’Elsa, situated high up above the valley.
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  • San Casciano Val di Pesa San Casciano Val di Pesa
    Situated to the south of Florence, San Casciano is surrounded by the neighbouring Communes of Scandicci and Impruneta.
    Read more
  • Mugello Mugello
    Mugello is only few kilometres from Florence and we can find traces of history worthy of a great European capital.
    Read more
  • Brolio Castle Brolio Castle
    The Brolio castle has a Longobard origin, although today of the ancient original small fortress remain only the location.
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  • Meleto castle Meleto castle
    Like in a fairytale, the Castle of Meleto stands out in the enchanting Chianti landscape at the end of a nice avenue lined with cypress-trees and junipers, in the middle of sun-kissed fields and vineyards.
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  • Gaiole Gaiole
    Gaiole in Chianti has developed along the valley of the River Massellone due to its idea position as a trading and meeting point and its origins are based in these very geographical characteristics.
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  • Castelnuovo Berardenga Castelnuovo Berardenga
    The municipal territory of Castelnuovo Berardenga extends for 177,03 square kilometres between the plain and the hills of the high valley of the river Ombrone.
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  • Montefioralle Montefioralle
    The village of Montefioralle is probably one of the most ancient in Chianti and is still today enclosed within its original walls.
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  • Greve in Chianti Greve in Chianti
    In the ancient times, Greve in Chianti was a small built-up area of the territory called "Agro di Florentia", even if expert and researchers of the Etruscan civilization claim that it can date back to a previous century.
    Read more
  • Radda in Chianti Radda in Chianti
    Radda in Chianti is the vineyard village. From the high ground on which it was built in the middle ages, between the waters of the rivers Arbia and Pesa, you gaze over a very dense interweave of vineyards.
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  • Castellina in Chianti Castellina in Chianti
    The centre of Castellina in Chianti built up area is the ancient fortress designed in the second half of the fifteenth century by the great architect Giuliano da Sangallo.
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  • Impruneta Impruneta
    The territory of Impruneta is included in the system of lower hills between the Greve River and the Ema River. This territory slowly slopes down to Florence.
    Read more
  • Terracotta of Impruneta Terracotta of Impruneta
    For Impruneta the art of terracotta is both an important heritage of great value and a primary element of its cultural identity.
    Read more
  • Old steam engine trains in Tuscany Old steam engine trains in Tuscany
    In Tuscany old steam engine trains are still in function and aim combining the discover of history with the discovery of the region and its beautiful landscapes.
    Read more
  • Chianti Sculpture park Chianti Sculpture park
    Inside the Chianti sculpture park an Amphitheatre/sculpture has been created to offer visitors a rich programme of concerts and cultural events.
    Read more

Accommodations in the area


    • Siena (Siena)
    • 19 km from Chianti

    Agriturismo Marciano

    Agriturimo Marciano : an exlusive opportunity, two holidays at the place of only one. stay in the country and life downtown. Marciano is located near the walls of the Middle Age town of Siena.
    Five confortable double rooms and a suite with a beautiful sight on the Siena Duomo

    Availability request


    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 21 km from Chianti

    Relais della Rovere

    The Relais Della Rovere is a charming hotel created from the conversion of an ancient Benedictine abbey and a papal villa of the Renaissance period.
    Set in Colle Val d'Elsa, in the heart of the Chianti area, it is strategically located among Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra.

    Booking ONLINE


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 25 km from Chianti

    Agriturismo la Lucciolaia

    In the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, Agriturismo La Lucciolaia is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized art towns.
    This ancient farmhouse has been recently renovated and divided into eleven double rooms and two Suites, where the magic atmosphere of past times is perfectly blended with modern comforts.

    Availability request


    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 27 km from Chianti

    La Pieve

    La Pieve, charming farmhouse located on the hills of Val d'Elsa, between Volterra and San Gimignano, along the Via Francigena, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, with its luxuriant nature and rich history.
    Framed by olive trees and a wood, it fosters a direct dialogue with nature in complete relaxation where they contemplate and enjoy the stillness in private and unique spaces.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 27 km from Chianti

    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto

    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto located in the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.
    Provides comfortable accommodation in 6 double bedrooms and two Suites

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 28 km from Chianti

    B&B la Fornace di Racciano

    La Fornace di Racciano is a lovely Bed&Breakfast a short distance from the historical centre of medieval San Gimignano. It consists of a typical Tuscan country house surrounded by a large flowery garden.
    La Fornace di Racciano consists of seven comfortable rooms and four apartments, two of which are located in the ancient hamlet of Racciano.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 30 km from Chianti

    Agriturismo Cesani

    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.
    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.

    Availability request


    • Firenze (Florence)
    • 31 km from Chianti

    Marignolle relais & charme

    The charming Marignolle Relais & Charme, nestled the hills of Florence, is the ideal solution for those who want a place of excellence and relaxation and love peace and privacy without the amenities of a luxury hotel.
    Marignolle Relais & Charme is especially appreciated by travelers looking for style and tradition by offering deluxe rooms or junior suites in a refined, with superior comforts and impeccable services that make this relais an excellence of Florence.

    Booking ONLINE


    • Montepulciano (Siena)
    • 54 km from Chianti

    Agriturismo le Caggiole

    Immersed in the verdant countryside around the noble town of Montepulciano, that boasts ancient Etruscan origins, Le Caggiole Estate is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized treasures.
    In a relaxing and cosy atmosphere uests are offered three comfortable, quiet double rooms with private bathrooms and two comfortable apartments for two persons and for small family groups.

    Availability request


    • Fucecchio (Florence)
    • 59 km from Chianti

    Relais Hotel Vedute

    Relais Hotel Vedute Florence surrounded by green countryside is located in a strategic position near Florence, Lucca, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena
    Our Wellness Center & Ayurvedic Thai Aquamor invites you to know Ayurvedic and Thai experience in Fucecchio Florence

    Availability request


    • Castagneto Carducci (Livorno)
    • 73 km from Chianti

    Podere Vignanova

    Podere Vignanova, little charming resort in Tuscany, in one of the more enchanting corners of the Etruscan coast, where vineyards with wines which are conquering the world.
    Surrounded by important vineyards in Castagneto hills the farm holding includes an old country house which hosts 4 comfortable flats and 4 delightful suites.

    Availability request


    • Lucca (Lucca)
    • 81 km from Chianti

    Historic Villa Lucca 12 beds pool

    Historic villa 14 km from the center of Lucca immersed in the green of the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves, it has a private swimming pool and a large park.
    Set on 350 square meters in a dominant position offers a unique view of the hills of Tuscany.

    Availability request


    • Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto)
    • 91 km from Chianti

    Villa Roccamare Castiglione della Pescaia 12 beds

    Beautiful and characteristic villa with stone finishes located in the exclusive Roccamare area in Castiglione della Pescaia.
    Surrounded by the green of the pine forest and the total privacy with 2000 sqm park equipped with relaxation area and barbecue is located about 400 meters from the sea and has a private beach.

    Availability request


    • Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto)
    • 91 km from Chianti

    Villa Punta Ala 9 beds pool

    Beautiful villa with swimming pool surrounded by greenery and tranquility of the exclusive tourist destination Punta Ala and small attic used as service personnel only 300 meters from the sea of Tuscany.
    This ideal solution for those who want to spend their holidays near the beautiful sea of Punta Ala with the comforts of an exclusive villa.

    Availability request


    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 93 km from Chianti

    Stone Farmhouse Massarosa 8 beds pool

    Stone farmhouse in typical Tuscan style skilfully and elegantly renovated in a dominant position on the hills of Massarosa with spectacular views that reach the sea of Tuscany. The farmhouse has a swimming pool with whirlpool.
    Perfect solution for those that search the real authentic Tuscany staying in the hills but not far from the Versilia sea.

    Availability request



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