Greve in Chianti is the only town in the province of Florence that is entirely part of the Chianti area. In Ancient Greek times, Greve was only a small center in the area, then called Agro di Florentia. The Romans were the first to live here permanently, due to its proximity to the via Cassia. Indeed, the Romans left their mark on the local place names, such as Siliano, a town whose name comes from a colony of Sulla veterans who settled there.
Greve in Chianti’s origins – in terms of any semblance to its appearance today - lie in the Early Middle Ages.
In the 11th century Bernardo degli Uberti gave the historic settlement on the San Francesco hill – which takes its name from the small Francescan community that settled there after having founded a hospital - to the monastery of San Salvi. Over the years, Greve expanded thanks to its well-connected position that allowed for easy communication with Florence and the Valdarno river markets, as well as with well-known routes such as the Via Francigena and the Via Volterrana. This is how the Greve ‘mercatale’ (market), a hugely popular commercial area, was founded; it’s particularly distinctive for its parish churches, churches, castles, aristocratic villas and farms, in the age of Florentine control. Towards the end of the 14th century, the area began to produce a wine particularly popular amongs noble Sienese and Florentine families. The latter enriched Greve through investments and, in some cases, direct interventions with the local farming economy.
After the Unification of Italy, the Greve ‘mercatale’ became a town and established its reputation as one of the most important centres in Chianti.