CHIANTI CLASSICO

 

 

The chianti classico tour takes you on an unforgettable journey into the undulating hills of the chianti countryside with its cottages immersed between vineyards and tall cypress trees. there will be a short but well cured stopover for lunch in “greve in chianti”, the famous and delightful capital of chianti. “greve” is world famous for its rich tuscan gastronomic tradition which is reflected in the profusion of local products available in the towns’shops.
After a good cup of italian coffee, the tour will continue through the green countryside along roads lined with cypress trees. upon arrival in “castellina in chianti”, a town which seems to have remained in 15th century, one will have the impression of having travelled back in time. this town is characterized with its underground passage built for defence purposes, its old castle with stone walls and tall tower. the street named “via delle volte” is lined with a wonderful selection of wine and olive oil shops.
The tour can proceed from “castellina in chanti” onto “radda in chianti” and “gaiole in chianti” where one finds the agricultural cooperatives of “chianti geografico” where local wines can be sampled.
Finally, the tour can conclude with the proposal of a visit to “castello di brolio”, which is the property of the ricasoli family since 1167. this family has dedicated years to the production of wines and it will be possible to visit its cellars and wineshops.

MONTALCINO

 

 

The town of montalcino is located in a dominant position above cultivated vineyards and its principal activity is wine-production. the town is distinguished by its red rooftops above narrow, winding streets and is famous for its optimum wines since the 15th century. the world famous “brunello” was born later as a result of the work of its inventor ferruccio biondi santi who was dedicated to sangiovese in order to produce an excelling quality of wine.
Montalcino is a medieval town, still protected today by its powerful high surrounding walls and fortress. the towns historical center, small but beautiful, includes the “palazzo dei priori” which faces out onto the main square. also contained within this medieval town are numerous churches and the cathedral or the “duomo” which was designed in 1818-1832 by agostino fantastici, replacing the origional romanesque church.
Within the grounds of the town’s fortress it is possible to visit the enoteca or wine shop and taste the montalcino wines, including the famous nobel red wine “brunello di montalcino”.
Approximately 10 kms away from montalcino one finds a romanesque basilica named san antimo. this romanesque structure is one of the principal architectural interests in the tuscany region.

MONTEPULCIANO

 

This tour takes a direction across the “val d’orcia” with its characteristic tuscan countryside to a destination on one of the highest hilltops in tuscany. montepulciano is famous not only for its wines but also for its splendid renaissance-style buildings. the main town square of montepulciano, its buildings, the church of san biagio are all impressive examples of early tuscan renaissance-style architecture.

Again, here is an example of a tuscan town renowned for its vino nobile wines. it is possible to contact the many agricultural agencies and arrange visits to the vineyards and cellars, and experience wine tasting.

MONTERIGGIONI E PIENZA

 

The village of monteriggioni is enclosed within the beautiful circle of wall along which are erected fourteen towers which seem to encrown the top of a hill surrounded by vineyards. dispersed in this picturesque area of the tuscan countryside are many other fortified medieval towns. examples include staggia and pienza which merit a stopover for a snack of percorino cheese combined with walnuts or pears and accompanied with a glass of good chianti wine.

SAN GIMIGNANO

 

The town of san gimignano rises on what was the main pilgrim route from northern europe to rome and is an ecceptional example of medieval architecture. the stunning skyline of one of the best-preserved medieval tuscan towns is composed of tall towers, 14 of the origional 76 remain today, dating from the 13th century. the narrow streets of the town center offer the possibility to visit small shops full of local handcrafts and gastronomic products. many of these shops produce their glass, crystal and ceramic handcrafts while the turists watch. franco balducci in piazza delle erbe is one example of handcraft art in progress.

Obviously there is no shortage of wine shops and gastronomic shops to try while strolling along the streets of san gimignano.