Before reaching Greve, the centre of the wine industry, we can visit the charming little hamlet of Montefioralle, birthplace of the Vespucci family. Wine-tasting of course can be organised at various locations throughout Chianti, and after lunch at a typical trattoria the choice is yours: we can suggest more wine-tasting at local farms and wine producers, or a pleasurable visit to the small delightful village of Monteriggioni, built by the Sienese in 1203 as defence against the ever expanding Florentine republic.
Completely enclosed in its 13th century walls with 14 towers, Monteriggioni was described by Dante in his Divine Comedy. Wherever we go in this fantastic part of the world we are sure it will be an unforgettable experience (provided you go easy on the wine that is!). Chianti, the area in which Chianti Classico wine has been produced for centuries, is that part of Tuscany that is bordered to the north by the suburbs of Florence, to the east by the Chianti Mountains, to the south by the city of Siena and to the west by the valleys of the Pesa and Elsa rivers.
The area is traversed by the Superhighway of the Palio. It is a land of ancient traditions that was civilized in remote periods first by the Etruscans, who left many traces of their activity in the wine sector, and then by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, the cities of Florence and Siena battled for control over the zone. Villages and monasteries, castles and fortresses appeared during that period and many of them were later transformed into villas and country residences when times were more tranquil.
It was then that spaces were cleared in the vast forests of chestnuts and oaks for the cultivation of vines and olive trees, an activity that progressively assumed major economic importance and established an international reputation. San Donato in Poggio, Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Panzano in Chianti, Impruneta
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