Posts Tagged ‘History and historical sights of Chianti’

Volterra, Italy, a charming mediaeval Tuscan hilltop town

Church of San Giusto in Volterra

Volterra is a charming Tuscan hill town that was “discovered” by a popular author of travel guides a few years back and more recently became the setting for a series of vampire movies. Despite the consequent upsurge in tourism, Volterra is still a “must visit” for anyone interested in Tuscan life, art and history. Volterra […]

The Etruscans – who were they and where did they come from?

Etruscan

The origins of the Etruscans – indeed almost everything about them – remains mysterious. It is even unclear when they first arrived in the Italian peninsula and whether an entire people migrated or only what became a ruling caste. Recent genetic studies of both Etruscan human remains and local oxen provides evidence that a connection […]

The gods, goddesses and mythology of the Etruscans

Etruscan musician

Many of the names listed here are Etruscan spellings (and pronunciations) of Greek and native Italic names, but some names are entirely Etruscan. Achlae: Greek river god, Achelous Achle, Achile: from the Greek Achilles, hero of the Trojan War Achmemrun: from the Greek Agamemnon, king of Mycenaean Greece Achrum, Acharum: from Acheron, the Greek river […]

Tavarnuzze, a Chianti town on the outskirts of Florence

American World War II cemetery Florence

Tavarnuzze is a smallish town within the county of Impruneta. The Greve river flows through it. The Florence American Cemetery and Memorial site is located near Tavarnuzze and can be reached by SITA bus from Florence. The site covers 70 acres and is open to the public daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except Christmas Day […]

The historical village of Sambuca in Val di Pesa, Tuscany

Sambuca Val di Pesa Chianti Tuscany

The small town of Sambuca in Val di Pesa is documented from 1053, but due to bombing during WW II is now mostly modern and forms a centre of light industry. However, the ancient bridge and some nearby mediaeval buildings are still extant and worth noting as you pass through the area. More about Sambuca […]

The village of Tavarnelle in Val di Pesa and its surroundings in Tuscany, Italy

The parish church (pieve) of San Pietro in Bossolo near Tavarnelle

Tavarnelle is mostly modern architecturally but is the location of the Church of Santa Lucia al Borghetto, the most interesting architectural sight within Tavarnelle itself, being a rare example of Tuscan Gothic architecture. In the environs of Tavarnelle, the highly attractive Romanesque parish church of San Pietro in Bossolo contains interesting works of art and […]

San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Tuscany, Italy

San Casciano in Val di Pesa

San Casciano is a small town and also a county on the north-western border of the Chianti Classico area of Tuscany. It can be reached by bus from central Florence in half an hour. Its full name is San Casciano in Val di Pesa, indicating that it is located near the valley of the Pesa […]

The history of Chianti from the Etruscans to Chianti Classico

Historical Greve in Chianti

Chianti from the Etruscans, Romans and Lombards through mediaeval times to the conflict between Florence and Siena, the mezzadria and modern Chianti The Chianti hills have been inhabited for millennia, making the history of Chianti rich and varied. The mild and healthy climate, the forest abounding in game and the fertile soil have attracted the […]

Italianate gardens of the villas of Tuscany

Tuscan garden of Villa Gamberaia

The formal gardens of Tuscany have been an integral part of the villas of Tuscany since Renaissance times when they first made their appearance as conscious attempts to create for wealthy and influential Florentines the ideal place for humanist debate, based upon ancient Roman ideals. After a period of landscape design in the English style […]

Abbeys, basilicas, monasteries, hermitages and parish churches of Tuscany

Abbazia di Sant'Antimo

The Abbeys, Basilicas and Monasteries of the Tuscan countryside and villages are sometimes overlooked as we enthusiastically feast on the masterpieces in the churches of Florence, Sienna and the other “art” cities of Tuscany. In fact there are abbeys (abbazie), basilicas (basiliche), monasteries (monasteri), hermitages (eremi) and parish churches (pievi) in every corner of Tuscany, […]

The Abbazia (Abbey) of Badia a Passignano in Chianti, Italy.

Abbey of Badia a Passignano

The Badia a Passignano is located on the road running from Greve in Chianti through Montefioralle towards San Donato and Sambuca, and in fact was probably built there because of the importance of this route in mediaeval times. The Abbey is extremely photogenic from almost any angle with its walls and towers emerging from the […]

Greve in Chianti activities, castles and other sights

Piazza Matteotti in Greve in Chianti

The whole area of Chianti around Greve is packed with castles, even more so than other parts of Tuscany, in addition to walled villages such as Montefioralle, Vertine and Volpaia, fortified abbeys and farmhouses that have developed from watch towers. Day excursions taking in several of these sights add enormously to the enjoyment of a […]

Castelnuovo Berardenga – villas, gardens and other sights

The Vicolo dell' Arco in Castelnuovo Berardennga

During the days of the Republic of Sienna, the territory or district of Berardenga was the area between the headwaters of the Bozzone torrent and the  Ambra river, and between upper Chianti and the Biena river as far as Taverne d’Arbia. Today, Castelnuovo Berardenga marks the southern limit of the Chianti Classico wine zone and […]

Impruneta and terracotta manufacture in Tuscany

Impruneta and terracotta manufacture

Impruneta is located just outside the Chianti Classico wine zone and in fact is much more famous for terracotta manufacture than for wine, despite holding on of the most entertaining grape festivals in Tuscany on the last Sunday of September. Impruneta is within easy reach of Florence by car, by bus and even by bicycle, […]

Panzano, the Tuscan hilltop town in the middle of Chianti

Panzano in Chianti

Panzano in Chianti makes an ideal base for your holiday in Chianti. It is located exactly halfway between Florence and Sienna, with a comfortable bus connection to Florence (one hour). The altitude of Panzano ensures that it avoids excessive heat during the Tuscan summer. The entire surrounding territory consists of Chianti Classico vineyards, olive groves and […]

The walled mediaeval village of Montefioralle in Chianti, Italy

The "Castello" of Montefioralle near Greve in Chianti

The small village of Montefioralle is one of the best-preserved and most interesting mediaeval fortified villages in Chianti, indeed in the whole of Tuscany. The original name of Montefioralle was Monteficale – it claims an entire verse under that name in the Ninfale fiesolano, composed by Boccaccio in 1344-45. Montefioralle has a double circuit of […]

Castellina in Chianti, history, accommodations and things to see

Castellina in Chianti

The town of Castellina in Chianti is one of the most popular destinations and vacation bases in Chianti. Castellina is central in terms of visits to anywhere in Chianti and the nearby areas of Tuscany, including Volterra and the Val d’Orcia, located as it is at an important crossroads on the via Chiantigiana. It is […]

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