The Chianti is a beautiful range of hills with a history of hundreds of years and long disputes, a place of fortified hamlets that stand out in the middle of woods and farm fields, and ideal for a trip to discover the food and wine traditions of Tuscany. The varieties of Chianti Classico DOCG, with their unmistakable profiles lending the table a splash of red nectar colour, are without doubt the local jewel in the crown.
The Chianti uplands are high thanks to a range of hills, in which Monte San Michele, the tallest peak, reaches almost to 900 metres, and are irrigated by five rivers and numerous little streams.
Travelling through this landscape is a true sight for sore eyes: on the small, provincial farm roads the hills never run out, always giving you a varied, magical view. These are the panoramas of Tuscany that you dream of, studded with little villages wrapped in the relaxed atmosphere of central Italy, where every break you take in bars and trattorias yields interesting and spontaneous encounters, as befits Tuscan hospitality. There is Greve in Chianti, which with its Wine Museum stands as gate to the region, Castellina and its archaeological museum, Radda and Gaiole nestling in the hills, the fortified town of Barberino Val d'Elsa, San Casciano Val di Pesa, where Machiavelli lived. And then an endless series of villages and hamlets, little stone bubbles enclosed by walls and dotted with medieval churches, parish churches.
We therefore dive into the heart of the old Grand Duchy, distancing ourselves from the traffic and driving down the innumerable little white roads which - like an unending lattice - are carved into this mythical landscape. Before us are only the silence of the woods and the chatter of the birds, who every so often come to rest between the precious vines.