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Friday, July 2, 2010

Living a Slow Chianti

Castello di Sezzate (Greve in Chianti)Image via Wikipedia

If you want to immerse yourselves in Nature, car is not the right mean. Visiting Chianti's hills and landscapes is an experience really worth living as close to Nature as possible. We have just talked about cycling.... but there are some other ways. You can easily go along Chianti on foot, horse-back or even by hot-air balloon!

Although we are getting less and less accustomed to walking, we can have the pleasure of hiking along many routes.

An easy itinerary from Greve in Chianti is going from the main square to Montefioralle, one of the most charming Italian medieval villages, where you can visit San Cresci's Romanesque church that dates back to beginning of XII century. This itinerary, among olive trees, vineyards and cypresses takes 2 hours and a half and it is pretty easy. Along the road it is possible to taste good Chianti wine having a snack at fattoria della Villa di Zano.

Riding a horse is a very relaxing way of getting in touch with Nature without any technological equipment, experiencing local sounds and feelings.

It is a different way to spend your holiday respecting Nature. Not far from Greve you can find Il Ranch a good point to start visiting these outskirts and visitors can experience a safe but exciting tour on horse-back, with the support of the riding school managers. There is one or more day trekking or just riding in those wonderful surroundings. If you love horses and good food, Il Ranch also offers you gourmet itineraries (for further information

The Tuscany Aerostatic Association offers the most unusual way to admire Chianti: getting on an air balloon. If coloured balloons, renewed by Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days, are your best way to enter the landscape (well, if you don't suffer from dizziness), you can make a reservation to have your head in the clouds on the website

The variety of landscapes and views makes Chianti a land unique in the world. If you slowly immerse yourselves in this magical atmosphere of vineyards and olive trees, you can enjoy it completely, instead of having a rapid glance from the car windows. Chianti isn't just a beautiful postcard; it is also smells, fresh air to breathe and the sounds of Nature.

Thus, the best is leaving the car aside, at least for a short time...and let's start from the greenest transportation: That's bicycle.

In Greve in Chianti 800 m far from the town centre, there is a bike mender renting out bicycles for few hours (Ramuzzi, Via Stecchi 23, tel.+39.055.853.037). Here you can get all the info you need and also choose the more convenient itinerary. We also suggest the itineraries listed in the web site ( If you like best a route, shorter but very challenging, starting from Greve; we suggest you the 27 km itinerary, reported in the guide Toscana in bici, published by Istituto Geografico De Agostini. For other itinerary, we suggest the booklet Terradisiena in bici available in every tourist office of Siena's county.

Greve-Monte San Michele-Panzano-Montefioralle-Greve

From Greve main square, take road 222 towards the local cemetery. That road becomes rugged among olive trees and vineyard. Once you get to Pian della Canonica go ahead towards Montedomini. At the first cross- road, turn right to Monte San Michele, where you can find the old restaurant of San Michele. This place is perfect for rest because of the wonderful view and to revive you with good food. After going along a winding path inside the wood, you can proceed towards Panzano in Chianti on a rapid and rocky slope. At Panzano, get the main surfaced road towards Mercatale/San Casciano until the cross-road in località La Torre, where you can stop and admire the magnificent medieval tower. There is a cross-road at km 24 where you have to turn right towards Pian di Campaggi until get to a brook. Your last effort, really worth doing, is climbing up to the charming walled village of Montefioralle. Then back to Greve following a rapid downhill on a surfaced road.

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: Albergo del Chianti Hotel




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