A Day in Chianti: Siena and Tuscany
- San Gimignano
Known throughout the world, the Chianti area lies between two important cities, Florence and Siena. It stretches from the valley of the river Arno to that of the river Ombrone, encompassing the Valdelsa to the west, while to the east it reaches the Valdarno Superiore.
Chianti has always been a wine-producing area (there is evidence of viticultural activity right back to Etruscan times), and it is worth visiting both for the unmatched beauty of its natural landscape (inextricably linked with the work of man) and for the many villages, castles, tiny country churches and farms spread throughout the region.
Running through this historic area is the Via Chiantigiana, which joins Florence and Siena. The beauty of the landscape together with the possibility of a visit to a winery where you can taste some of the best wines and food in Italy, will make a trip to this area an unforgettable experience.
The Chianti region, known all over the world for its great wines, offers travelers a stunning landscape dotted with grapevines and olive groves.
During this Chianti tour, a private car service will be arranged for you. Your English speaking driver will take you to one of the main villages in the Chianti area, Greve. This town was the birthplace of Giovanni da Verrazzano, the navigator who discovered the bay where New York lies today.
After visiting Greve the tour of Chianti continues to the village of San Gimignano, located between Florence and Siena, a walled medieval hill town with its 14 still standing ancient fortified towers (out of the original 72).
While in most of the other medieval cities, towers have been pulled down due to wars and urban renewal, San. Gimignano has managed to conserve its fortified houses which have become its international symbol.
There are no very important interiors to sightsee, but S. Gimignano is so small and visually enchanting that it's perfect for a short walk to have a proper idea of how the Italian city-scape looked in the XIII Century. You can cross the whole city center in about 20 minutes on foot, having the time to enjoy the atmosphere, the romanesque buildings, the two main squares (Piazza della Cisterna, named after the old well once fed by a system of pipes draining the rainwater from the nearby roof-tops and the Duomo Square) and mostly the perfectly preserved urban structure.
The local wine is considered one of the most prized Italian white wines: Vernaccia, produced from a variety of grape which is grown in the area.
The city is also well known for producing one of the best saffrons in Italy, so don't miss a saffron-cream gelato in the main square!
After this enchanting walk, your driver can take you to visit a winery for a wine tasting of three different red wines and then enjoy a light lunch of regional specialties, including a taste of the area’s fine extra virgin olive oils, salami, ham, cheeses and bruschetta, a local specialty, and traditional biscuits (Cantuccini).
After lunch your tour will continue with a visit to Siena, probably the best preserved Gothic medieval city in Italy, cradle of the Italian Gothic style.
You should focus your attention on the spectacular Duomo, enjoy a stroll in the endless labyrinth of winding narrow alleys, soak up the evocative medieval atmosphere and marvel at the beautiful fan-shaped square “il Campo”, lined with ancient palaces, cafés and shops.
Your private car will bring you back to your accommodation at any time you like.