Chianti

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Welcome in Chianti

Sights in Chianti

Brolio Castle (Castello di Brolio)

Brolio Castle (Castello di Brolio)

Right in the heart of Chianti wine country, Gaiole in Chianti is a sleepy village these days but as it was an important town in the Middle Ages, it is surrounded by great defence castles including Vertine, Barbischio and Meleto. The most impressive of them all is Castello di Brolio, which commands the surrounding countryside from its perch nearly 1,804 ft (550 m) above swathes of olive groves and vineyards. Unbelievably it has been owned by the Ricasoli family since the 12th century and has long been associated with wine making.

The castle gained its present appearance in the mid 19th century, when it was remodeled into Gothic style with turrets and towers of pink stone by Barone Bettino Ricasoli, the man responsible for introducing Chianti wine to the world. One of the foremost attractions on Chianti wine estates itineraries, today the castle, its private chapel and the family treasures in the Ricasoli Museum can be explored by guided tour.

Price

garden, chapel & crypt €5, guided tours €8

Hours

10am-7pm Apr-Oct, guided tours every 30min 10.30am-12.30pm & 2.30-5pm Tue-Sun

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Location

Chianti, Italy

Castle of Meleto (Castello di Meleto)

Located at the heart of Tuscan wine country, Gaiole in Chianti is a tranquil Tuscan village these days but in medieval times it had great strategic importance, a fact borne out by the string of defence castles nearby, including Brolio, Vertine and Barbischio.

The turreted, stone-built Castle of Meleto was first mentioned in 1256, when it was the property of the powerful Florentine Ricasoli family, and it has long been associated with wine making. One of the leading attractions on tours of the Chianti wineries, the interior of the Castle of Meleto can be toured three times a day, with attractions including fabulously frescoed rooms, an 18th-century theater and the old wine cellars.

Its vineyards are open for tours and the vinoteca for tasting sessions of award-wining red Chianti Classico as well as a sparkling rosé. Other gourmet specialties produced on the estate are also for sale, include grappas, olive oils and prosciutto from the castle’s rare Cinta Senese pigs.

Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama

At Castello di Ama centuries-old wine-making traditions meet cutting-edge contemporary art. As well as producing internationally famous wines such as ‘L’Apparita’ Merlot, this estate also features a sculpture park showcasing 13 impressive site-specific pieces by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Chen Zhen, Anish Kapoor, Kendell Geers and Daniel Buren. It’s 9km south of Radda, near Lecchi in Chianti.

Guided tours (in English, French, Italian or German) take in the sculpture park, villa and cellar – as well as ‘L’Apparita’, wines to keep an eye out for are the ‘Haiku’ Sangiovese/cabernet Franc/merlot blend and a delicious ‘Vigneto Bellavista’ Chianti Classico.

Parco Sculture del Chianti

Parco Sculture del Chianti

More than 25 site-specific contemporary artworks are tucked into this 13-acre wood, meaning you’ll encounter abstract humans, cube clusters and multicoloured cows amid the foliage. Between June and August weekly sunset Jazz and Opera concerts are staged in the park’s white Carrara marble and black Zimbabwean granite amphitheatre. Look out for Hitchcock, Fellini and Charlie Chaplin amid the ‘spectators’.

The park is 16km south of Radda. While here, detour to the nearby village of Pievasciata, whose streets are home to an ever-growing number of site-specific contemporary international artworks (check to see if Yu Zhaoyang’s hilarious Town Ostriches are still next to the cypress trees).

Montecalvario

Montecalvario in Chianti

Four burial chambers, dating from the 6th century BC.

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Museo Archeologico del Chianti Senese

Etruscan archaeological finds from the local area are on display at this museum in the town’s medieval rocca (fortress). Room 4 showcases artefacts found in the 7th-century-BC Etruscan Tombs of Montecalvario, which are located on the northern edge of town off the SR222.

Price

adult/reduced €5/3

Hours

10am-6pm daily Apr, May, Sep & Oct, 11am-7pm Jun-Aug, 10am-5pm Sat & Sun Nov-Mar

Contact

Location

Piazza del Comune 18
Chianti, Italy
Montefioralle in Chianti

Montefioralle in Chianti

Medieval Montefioralle crowns a rise 1km east of Greve. An atmospheric huddle of homes with wrap-around views, it was home to Amerigo Vespucci (1415–1512), an explorer who followed Columbus’ route to America. He wrote so excitedly about the New World that he inspired cartographer Martin Waldseemüller (creator of the 1507 Universalis Cosmographia) to name the new continent in his honour.

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Amazing hotels and hostels

We’ve pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

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Food & Drink

Where to Eat in Chianti

Ristorante Pizzeria da I’Dolio

Osteria Pizzeria Bella Napoli

Locanda del Molino

Ristorante Lo Sfizio di Bianchi

Oasi Vallechiara

La Locanda di Pietracupa

Il Vescovino

Uscio & Bottega

La Posta

Le Panzenelle

Pizzeria Caffe Le Logge

Osteria al Ponte

Taverna del Guerrino

Il Caminetto del Chianti

Lo Spela

L’Antica Delizia

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