AREA DEL CHIANTI

WHAT TO SEE, DO, AND TYPICAL CUISINE

The area of Chianti is the hilly zone located in the Tuscany’s heart and focused between the provinces of Florence, Siena, Arezzo and the Pisani’s hills. It is famous for the production of one of the world’s best red wine, the Chianti.
The Chianti’s territory is full of medieval villagies and characteristic landscapes. It has 19 municipalities: Florence, Siena, Barberino Val d’Elsa, Castellina in Chianti, Certaldo, Chianciano Terme, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Impruneta, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Poggibonsi, Radda in Chianti, Rapolano Terme, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, San Gimignano, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Vinci and Volterra.

WHAT TO SEE

The Chianti’s valley extends along the famous street SS222 of 60 km called Chiantigiana. This is one of the most enchanting street of Europe and the best way to discover the beauties of the territory is by crossing her. Along the Chiantigiana you can visit all the 19 municipalities which belongs to the area.
It’a a territory full of villages and castels that has 7.000 hectares of vineyards and olive groves. You can find wineries and agritourisms taht are connected to the name of the famous wine with the Black Rooster.
In spite of this, the production’s heart of the Chianti is the little counrty of Greve in Chianti, where you can taste and buy the famous wine with the D.O.C.G. mark (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin) that is exported in around 130 countries. In addition, if you want to enjoy a tasting to 360 degrees, you can visit the Wine’s Museum which offers you more than 200 different types of wine.
Another village to include in the itinerary of Chianti is Radda in Chianti, the ancient capital of Chiabnti’s area. This little tuscan viallge offers you all year a programme full of folklorics, culturals and food and wine events which are located in the Podestà building and in the old castle.
It deserves to be visited the fascinating village of Castellina in Chianti, in which the very heart of it is the landscape famous throughout Italy. In Castelluna in Chianti you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Chianti Senese that revisit the ancient history of this area. It is also possible to visit the agritourisms incorporating of farms, in this way you can get in touch with the Florentine nature even more.
The last place you can visit is Gaiole in Chianti, full of old castles and Roman churches. This village is famous for having the biggest Classic Chianti cellar, the Brolio Castle, in which, in 1872, the Baron Bettino Ricasoli invented the Chianti’s composition.

TYPICAL CUISINE

Some ingredients are fundamental: first of all the bread. The traditional one is prepared in large ½ or 1 kg loaves, is cooked in a wood oven (so it resists well for days) and is strictly unsalted. The reason is understood immediately as soon as it is accompanied by local cured meats, the very tasty “Prosciutto Crudo Toscano DOP”, or the “Finocchiona” (a salami flavored with fennel seeds), or when you taste the famous “crostini” with “sauce” black livers “. Their strong and decisive tastes go perfectly with Tuscan unsalted bread. Not to mention when the dose is increased with flakes of “aged pecorino” cheese.

Tuscan bread, humble and particular as it is, is also paired with another fundamental ingredient of Chianti cuisine: extra virgin olive oil. A slice of Tuscan bread toasted on the grill, still hot, with an abundant drizzle of oil that as soon as it touches the bread releases all its aromas and then leaves that slight final tingle in the mouth …

The “stale” bread is then the basis of some typical seasonal dishes such as the “pappa al pomodoro” (based on stale bread, peeled tomatoes, garlic, basil and oil), the “ribollita” (typically peasant dish based on bread , savoy cabbage, black cabbage, beans and other seasonal vegetables, whose name means “boiled twice”) and “panzanella” (dish made with crumbled stale bread, red onion, tomato, cucumber and basil seasoned with oil, vinegar and salt).

We must not forget the meats that are very good in these parts. The areas adjacent to Chianti are famous for the open-air breeding of steers of the “Chianina” breed (a breed of cattle originally bred exclusively in the Valdichiana) and of “Cinta senese” pigs (a pig breed that owes its name to the fact that it is raised on the Sienese hills and with a dark coat with a white band around the chest). The local butchers (there is a very famous one right in the main square of Greve in Chianti) are well stocked with all kinds of salami, ham or sausage, for all tastes. And as if that were not enough, the whole area is rich in wild boars and various types of game. Wild boar is cooked in many ways, such as “pappardelle” (a particular type of pasta, very similar to fettuccine) with wild boar sauce.

And what about the sweets; From the cantucci down, passing through the traditional “pan con l’uva” (a typical Florentine dessert made from black grapes) and the delicious “Africani” (sweets prepared with eggs and sugar), up to the “schiacciata fiorentina” (a typical dessert of Carnival period) … you are spoiled for choice. Rather … don’t forget to water them with a little Vin Santo

WHAT TO DO

In Chianti’s Area you can’t miss the wine tour; there is a large number of cellars in which you can find how the Chianti’s wine is made and you can taste it.
The Chianti’s Area is the best place to visit with the family, rich in nature and open spaces in which children can play and have fun.
The most appopiate vehicle to use in this place is the bicycle, in fact there are a lot of tours and excursions for bicycle’s lovers.
This area is full of spa. In the territory flow the benefical spa waters that have healty proprieties. So itìs also a place in which you can focus on the comfort.
The best way to relax in this area reach in wine is using the Vinotherapy. In this way the wine isn’t only used for the tastings, but also for the healt through the grave’s properties, able to reduce th stress and to make look your skin youger. In the Chianti’s Area there are a lot of spa which practise this special therapy, among these stands out the villages of Greve in Chianti and Gaiole in Chianti.

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