Few words are as powerful as the word “Chianti.” Two simple syllables have the power to flood your mind with visions of rich colors and aromas of the famous ruby-red wines. It’s no coincidence; Chianti is one of the most famous areas with strong wine-making traditions and high-quality produce. Not going for a wine tasting in Chianti is like visiting the Vatican and saying no to the Sistine Chapel - unthinkable! You can either sign up for a tasting of best Chianti wines at a small “enoteca” (wine bar) offering a wide selection of local wines and snacks or indulge in an organized wine tasting with a full-course meal at a traditional restaurant. However, the most profound and well-rounded experience sign up for tours of local wineries, vineyards and traditional estates. Don’t ponder too much about what to do in Chianti; the answer is pretty clear!
One of the most delightful things about Chianti is its never-ending selection of fun fairs, festivals, and events all year round. If Chianti is among your Tuscany destinations, make sure you attend at least one of there celebrations. Each season comes with its own perks. For instance, spring treats you to “Festa della stagione bona” (the beginning of the "good season") in Panzano with a parade in period costumes, a medieval play, and good stands. Summer offers a “Ferie delle messi” harvest celebration with two days of folkloristic fanfare in San Gimignano. The fall brings “Festa dell’Uva” - grape harvest celebrations with large market including music, shows, and local food and wine tasting in Impruneta. Winter warms you up with classic “Mercatini di Natale.” And this is just the tip of the iceberg! With all these fairs, you can hardly run out of ideas on what to do in Chianti.
Chianti, more than any other part of Tuscany, is sprinkled with sleepy ancient villages, medieval forts, and rustic estates. The best thing to do is hop on a bike, Vespa, bus or a car and venture on an exploratory expedition. You are bound to discover magical places. For instance, there is Montefioralle, one of the loveliest villages in all of Italy which grew in rings around a medieval fortress. But that’s not all! The ancient charm covers Chianti like a delicate spider web, from village to village. Be sure to visit Panzano, famous for out-of-this-world delicacies appreciated most by carnivorous customers; Gaiole, home to Italy's oldest winery; Greve, the biggest small town of Chianti; Radda, once Chianti’s capital, and many others. “Village crawl” is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Chianti, you will find yourself in places where time stands still.
However, the region did have the unlucky “honor” of being a medieval battlefield. It was caught between the ever-fighting Florence and Siena. When Florence won the final battle, people cleared the damaged areas for cultivation. Olive groves, vineyards, as well as chestnut and oak woods, took over the landscape once and for all.
Chianti charms its many visitors with a picture-perfect landscape. Its defining features include rolling hills, vast fields, lush vineyards, ancient olive groves, medieval villages as well as quaint farmhouses and Renaissance villas. The valley creates a perfect climate to produce the world-famous ruby-red wine Chianti and Chianti Classico.
All in all, Chianti is a small clandestine paradise for those curious to savor the authentic taste of Tuscany. Just driving through the region in the Vintage Fiat 500 or on a stylish Vespa is an adventure in itself. However, there is something for everyone. You can explore ancient wineries and take part in intimate wine tastings; enjoy authentic Tuscan dinners at old estates; immerse yourself in the exploration of medieval castles, or access the excluded areas of nature on an exciting Safari ride. Scroll below for suggestions on places to visit and things to do in Chianti!