You might be able to guess it from the name: the via Chiantigiana is a fun, asphalted road that crosses the hills of the Chianti, connecting Florence and Siena and cutting through Greve in Chianti, where the Museum of Wine is located. This stretch of land honours the culture of food and wine, reflecting the wisdom of a distant past: a great glass of wine improves circulation!
To escape the hustle and bustle of Florence, take the SR222, also known as the Chiantigiana. We begin our journey in Badia a Ripoli, from where we’ll cross Ponte a Ema, before continuing to Grassina. From here, we wave goodbye to the city as we’re enveloped by the open countryside. The route we take and the things we see are all up to us: we can head to Impruneta or move toward San Paolo in Chianti, among other options.
Driving through the Ugolino fields, boasting views of the quintessential Tuscan countryside, we’ll come to Strada in Chianti and Cintoia. Take a break and quench your thirst. You can drink some water, but wine is better, and this place is perfect for a glass.
Vineyards dot the landscape as we continue between Chiocchio and Spedaluzzo. Near Le Bolle, a fork in the road leads us to Passo dei Pecorai, but don’t be fooled, it’s a fun and relaxing journey. Waiting for us at the end of the way are two enchanting castles (Verrazzano and Montefioralle).
Welcome to Greve in Chianti, a small town in the heart of the Chianti. Historically, the town held the market for Montelfioralle Castle, and today, every Saturday morning, the tradition is continued, inviting everyone into its lovely piazza.
Sitting atop the town is the Rectory of Santa Croce, and surrounding it, under the porticoes, are local food shops. A must-visit is the Antica Macelleria Falorni (a historic butcher), opened in 1729. Close by, you’ll find the Museum of Wine, boasting an inebriating journey through old photographs, documents and tools of the trade, not to mention the curious collection of over 180 different bottle openers!
If you’re still sober following your visit to the museum, we can continue along the SP16 heading in the direction of Dudda. As we climb up to Panzano in Chianti, we’ll be greeted with twisting curves and winding roads.
At the crossroads for Radda in Chianti and Volpaia (a splendid little hamlet), a series of curves and bends leads to Pietrafitta. The beautiful Castellina in Chianti is also a diabolical crossroads: it’s our last chance to leave the SR222. Those who want to remain on the via Chiantigiana will be rewarded with numerous bends boasting views of woods and cypress trees, an Etruscan necropolis (Poggino) and the hamlet of Fonterutoli (with a castle and winery), before ending in Querciagrossa. We finish the journey in Siena, but describing this city in a just a few words is impossible, so let yourself be transported by its magic and charm. We’ll say no more!