Chianti is an part of Tuscany that is famous for the red wine of the same name. It has countless things to offer for a visitor interested in wine, food and natural beauty. Most wineries are open for a tour and a tasting, and some offer accommodation services too.
Chianti is not an administrative region and includes areas of the provinces of Florence, Siena, Arezzo and Pisa. The Chianti DOCG thus belongs to seven smaller areas (Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano and Rufina), of which Classico is the most famous.
Many smaller towns between Florence and Siena form the Chianti Classico heart. Greve in Chianti, Panzano in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and Radda in Chianti. The famous Chianti estates are close to these towns.
Not only red wine, many estates make the dessert wine Vin Santo del Chianti and "Super Tuscan" wines that do not adhere to the DOC regulations. The majority also make olive oil and some other specialities.
The best way to explore and enjoy in full the Chianti is by car. A perfect start for the trip is Florence. The most important road to know is the Chiantigiana as it penetrates the heart of the Chianti Classico region.
Another amazing way to enjoy the Chianti is renting a bike.
For those interested in such things as museums, art, churches and galleries it is not necessary to leave Florence or Siena but Chianti region can be an excellent starting point from which to explore Tuscany as whole without having to stay in these crowded cities only. The countryside is amazing, gifting to visitors gems after gems, each time.
The eno-gastronomic culture of Chianti is impressive.
Chianti is one of Italy's prime wine regions. The best option for wine lovers is to be there on the last Sunday of May when many producers throughout Italy open their doors for the festival of Cantine Aperte.
Olive groves are also exquisite, and while it is not normally possible to visit an oil press, you can purchase olive oil directly from the producers. Olives are pressed in November and December and the olio nuovo or new oil, which is very piquant for the first several months, is especially prized on bruschetta and ribollita.