Chianti is one of the most beautiful hill area in Tuscany and maybe in Italy. Renowned all around the world for its Chianti wine production, this region stretches in between Florence and Siena.
The landscape is characterized by vineyards and olive groves and fortresses, parish churches and castles dominating the splendid surroundings.
If you have just one day to spend in Chianti, here we suggest an itinerary in Florentine Chianti to get the best out of your Tuscan holiday.
Florence is linked to Chianti with SS222, called Chiantigiana, that crosses this area in Tuscany. The first town you meet is Strada in Chianti, where there is a wonderful view of the surroundings.
Going on you arrive in Greve in Chianti, that can be considered Chianti's gates. Etruscans lived here, where the great explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was born, as celebrated by the big statue in the main square. Piazza Matteotti with its particular shape and restaurants and shops is the main attraction. The Church of Santa Croce displays important artworks by Florentine artists such as Andrea Della Robbia and deserve being visited. If you are a wine lover don't miss the Wine Museum that offers over 100 types of wine for tasting.
With a quick diversion from Chiantigiana Road you arrive to Montefioralle, ancient medieval castle. This small fortress is one of the oldest towns in Chianti and well preserves its original look. It deserve a visit the12th century Church of Santo Stefano, displaying several artworks.
Back on the main road you find Panzano in Chianti. It became famous over the last few years for the Antica Macelleria Cecchini, a butcher where Florentine steak is cut performing Dante's Divine Comedy. Located on top of a hill it offers a stunning panorama. In the old center you can see traces of its ancient fortress.
Just outside Panzano stand the charming 12th century Parish Church of San Leolino that holds precious sacred artworks.
Continuing along via Chiantigiana you find Castellina in Chianti, that stand on the border line between Florentine and Senese Chianti. It has Etruscan roots and always played an important role in the fights between Florence and Siena. The majestic Fortress and the massive walls prove this glorious past. Don't miss Via delle Volte, where you can admire a spectacular panorama, and the Archeological Museum of Senese Chianti.
Going back to Florence follow directions to Poggibonsi, taking then the superstrada Firenze-Siena and exit to Barberino Val D'Elsa. This charming fortified town preserve its original medieval center with big walls and tower-houses.
Another nice diversion can be stopping at the Chapel of San Michele in Semifonte near Petrognano. The chapel is also called the Duomo of Val D'Elsa (1567) and symbolizes the glorious and sad past of Semifonte, that was razed to the ground from Florence around 1200.
Back on the main road SS2 you arrive in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, where stand the Church of Santa Lucia al Borghetto, a rare example of Gothic architecture. Outside the center stand the particular Parish Church of San Piero in Bossolo that hosts the Museum of Sacred Art.
Continuing towards Florence you arrive in San Casciano Val di Pesa, the last town of Chianti, that has a delightful center with shops and restaurants. Few kilometers far there is the Albergaccio of Sant'Andrea in Percussina, today famous wine cellar, where Niccolò Machiavelli lived.
But Chianti is also wine. For suggestions regarding wine tastings in Chianti read this other article.
Of course, these are just suggestions and advices to help you planning a beautiful day trip in Chianti. Along the road you will find many other places to visit such as parish churches, castles and towns.