Greve in Chianti, generally
known simply as Greve (pronounced "greh-veh") and often
so indicated on road signs, is the tourism centre of the Chianti
Classico wine area that covers most of the territory between
to the north and Sienna to the south. Greve in Chianti is well-connected to
Florence by comfortable SITA buses but there is essentially no direct
bus route from Greve to Sienna which is in a different
administrative Region, namely the Provincia di Siena. It is necessary to take the bus to Florence
and then connect with the express bus to Sienna. The main road
running through Chianti and joining Florence with Sienna is SR 222,
Chiantigiana, one of the best roads for motoring
excursions in Italy.
Greve itself is a
pleasant small town with an arcaded main piazza, Piazza Matteotti,
several restaurants, a good range of food outlets, including a
good Coop supermarket, as well as Tuscan
country-style furniture and arts shops. There is a general market
in Piazza Matteotti every Saturday morning where fresh produce
as well as clothes, shoes, hardware and household items can be
bought. A number of special markets are held during the year.
These include an antiques
and bric-à-brac fair on Easter Monday and the
Classico wine fair held in Piazza Matteotti in September.
There is an excellent range of very affordable vacation
accommodation available within the township of Greve in Chianti, for those who want to see
Chianti without a car, as well as Chianti
Bed & Breakfast rooms,
farmhouse vacation apartments and Tuscan
vacation villas to rent in the the
surrounding hills. These Chianti
agriturismi, as they are called, offer extremely good
value for money. Basically you get a self-catering
vacation apartment in Chianti, sometimes with a
swimming pool, for a lower price than you would pay for a hotel
room in most cities or towns in Tuscany.
To get to Greve in Chianti from Florence by public transport,
the best option is the comfortable SITA bus. This leaves
from the SITA bus station near SMN Railway Station in Florence and
the trip takes one hour. Click this link for the Florence
to Greve bus timetable and other relevant details. There
is rarely if ever a direct bus from Greve to Siena. To visit Siena
from Greve, you need to take the bus to Florence and change there
at the SITA bus station for the express bus to Siena. On your
return journey, be sure not to miss the last connection back to
Greve (about 8 pm, sometimes 8.30 pm).
It is of course also possible to reach Greve from Florence by
taxi. The meter will be switched to double because the driver
has to return empty. The price is currently about 70 euros.
There is also a taxi in Greve (minibus) at Garage Sant'Anna,
opposite Bar Sant'Anna. If you wish to use this service you should
make arrangements in advance. He will also take you to tourist
sights and even restaurants in the area and pick you up at the
pre-arranged time. Refer to Chianti
without a car and Chianti
taxi and transfers for other information on how to get
around Chianti without your own transport.
The Chianti hills around Greve in Chianti are a mixture of forest and
cultivation with the overwhelming majority of the cultivation
being dedicated to wine and olive oil production. As a
consequence, there are numerous wineries selling their own
Chianti Classico wine and many of them allow you to taste
before you buy.
Among the interesting sights within easy reach of Greve in
- Panzano in
Chianti, a small town 10 minutes away from Greve by car. It can also be reached by
an uphill walk along a mediaeval road that runs close to SR222.
5 minutes by car or 20 minutes uphill by foot. This is an
excellent example of a fortified Tuscan mediaeval village and
should not be missed. The family of Amerigo Vespucci owned
a house there during his lifetime and for some centuries
a Passignano is a highly photogenic abbey located about 20
minutes by car towards Sambuca. It can sometimes be toured on Sunday
starting at 3 pm.
di San Cresci is a very early romanesque
parish church, formerly the parish church of Montefioralle
which was bigger than Greve in mediaeval times. The pieve is open
only infrequently but the walk past Villa Zano and the
exterior of the pieve make for a pleasing half-day hike. There is
an excellent winery abutting the church - Podere
di Verrazzano - the ancestral home of the explorer of the
East Coast of the USA, Giovanni da Verrazzano (sometimes spelled Verrazano).
The castle offers a wine tasting tour that includes a Verrazzano
room containing memorabilia of the great explorer.
Worth a visit. More about the
Chianti market town of Greve in Chianti.