Val di Greve – the valley of the river Greve in central Tuscany

The Greve river (fiume Greve), 43 km in length and among the best known rivers of Tuscany, arises on the hill known as Querciabella, in the Chianti hills just below Lamole, where it is fed by the springs of Fonte di Poggio alle Coste and Fonte del Topo. It flows rapidly down through the forested hills in an easterly direction and then forms a flat flood plain between Panzano and Greve, the Piano di Montagliari. This flat area continues as the river turns north, and the market place of Greve in Chianti itself is built on this plain while the more modern houses of Greve extend up the slopes of the valley on either side. The river continues through flat terrain northwards beneath the castles of Calcinaia, Verrazzano and Vicchiomaggio  before entering a narrow gorge at Greti.

The headwaters of the Greve river

The headwaters of the Greve river

The Greve river as it enters flatter terrain

The Greve river as it enters flatter terrain

The Greve river receives input from two seasonal torrents as it passes through Greve. One of these, the Borro Becherale, psses through a tunnel under part of Greve just before it joins the river. (Podere San Cresci makes an excellent IGT wine under the name Becherale).

Greve in Chianti on the flood plain of the Greve river

Greve in Chianti township on the flood plain of the Greve river

greve river torrente becherale

The Becherale torrent joining the Greve river in Greve in Chianti

The Greve then descends gently along the valley as far as the Ponte dei Falciani. Here it narrows to run through another gorge, the Scopeti, to arrives at Tavarnuzze from where it opens into the valley and receives the waters of the Ema stream, between the Certosa Galluzzo and the village of the same name. The Greve then passes through Scandicci and joins the Arno in the Florentine suburb of Mantignano (Bagno a Ripoli). The Ema stream, 27 km long, also arises in the territory of Greve in Chianti, near the Abbey of Montescalari.

The Greve river near its entry in to the Arno.

The Greve river near its entry in to the Arno.

More about the river valleys of Tuscany.

Elena Spolaor

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2 Responses to “Val di Greve – the valley of the river Greve in central Tuscany”

  1. Venn says:

    Hi Elena, is the Val di Greve the same as the Chianti valley? In other words, if I find a place to stay in the Val di Greve, will I be in central Chianti?

    • Hello Venn, actually the “Chianti valley”, a designation that’s not used very often but which makes sense if you look at a topographical map of Tuscany, is dominated by the Val d’Elsa on the western border with the Val di Greve forming a part of the eastern border. The “Chianti valley” is basically the Chianti Classico wine zone. However, to answer the main part of your question, yes, the Val di Greve is central Chianti and makes an ideal base for a vacation in Tuscany. Not only are Florence, Sienna and the Chianti Classico wine zone readily accessible, but you can easily visit much of Tuscany in single day excursions.

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