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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Journey Among the Flavours of Chianti (Part 1): Greve, Panzano and Radda

Landscape in the Italian wine region of Greve ...Image via Wikipedia

The land of Chianti offers precious views to its visitors: medieval abbeys and fortified villages as well as smooth hills of unique colours. But, not only is your sight continuously stimulated while getting around this land rich in culture and ancient, also your taste and smell will have their own chance to be pleased as going through Chianti's routes. Besides, everybody knows that the recollection of a journey comes from our eyes and also from the memory of a strong flavour or taste.

We cannot forget, of course, the most famous and celebrated product of this region: red wine. The main character of our itinerary will be food - olive oil, cheese, honey, encased cold cuts, meat and vegetables and so on... that goes so well with the most important product of this region that is wine.

We will visit some of the places where it is possible to taste typical regional meals of the peasant tradition. Their simply ingredients are combined with the ability of experienced chefs and the pleasure of the most modern catering services. Moreover, we will point you out where to purchase the tastiest food typical of the Tuscany cuisine, to keep a strong and tasty souvenir, once you're back. Well, Greve in Chianti is the first leg of our journey.

Greve's flavours

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy", thus the first taste of the day could be the very gorgeous pastries and sweets that you can find in Pandemonio (via G. Garibaldi 12). If you're looking for a tasty but cheap lunch (15-20 €), go to the very central piazza Matteotti where you can find the nice restaurant, Il Portico, very famous for its traditional entries and grilled meat at fair prices. In piazza Matteotti, the heaven of food and drink, we can also find other restaurants it is worth mentioning: Mangiando Mangiando, furnished with wood tables and visible kitchen, Il Gallo Nero, specialized in bruschette and meat grilled on coals as tradition, the restaurant Giovanni da Verrazzano, where you could taste Tuscan traditional meals, spending about 35 euro, drinks not included. We definitely suggest you to taste meals with wild boar, lamb as well as rabbit.

Still in Piazza Matteotti, we indicate you another place where purchase typical products: the very famous Macelleria Falorni, a temple of high quality wild boar cold cuts and pecorino cheese. Here you can also taste or buy the renowned cold cuts "sbriciolona" and the real Chianina steak.

After lunch, it is worth visiting the medieval castle of Montefioralle, overlooking Greve. Once back to the village, you ought to stop and visit the very well-provided Cantine di Greve in Chianti (piazza delle Cantine) modern wine cellar where it is possible to purchase olive oil and wine as well as visiting the little but interesting museum of the history of wine.

In the surroundings of Greve

Now it is time to immerse ourselves in the surrounding hillsides and engage our taste in a more aristocratic setting among old gardens and towers: Both Castello di Verrazzano, 4 km North from Greve or Castello di Querceto, 8 km east on the way to Figline are good examples.

But, maybe the right place for us to taste wine and cheese is Villa Vignamaggio, on the way to the Lamole from Greve. Visiting the Italian style gardens and savouring the wine produced by those vineyards, the most ancient of Chianti's region, you can also be impressed by a fascinating ancient legend: Monna Lisa, the lady portrayed by Leonardo da Vinci in the most famous paint of the world the Gioconda, would be born in this old mansion.

If we move towards Figline from Greve, we will find the wonderful natural park of Monte San Michele: here it is possible to hike in an impressing place where you can still see hares and roes at liberty. After hiking immersed in such an environment, we are perfectly ready for dinner, thus we are only waiting to enter Ristorante Borgo Antico (via Case Sparse 115) in Dimezzano di Lucolena.

This place is furnished with modern and traditional components and offers a rich wine-list, delicious roast meat and generous helping. From risotto pere e gorgonzola to homemade tiramisu... this place is able to satisfy also the most demanding palate and offer a dramatic landscape on Chianti's hillsides.

We are situated in the main square of Greve in Chianti, a picturesque small town near the two main historical cities in Tuscany: Florence and Siena.

For more information about the Chiantishire and our Hotel, please visit our website:



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