Along the Via Chiantigiana
In Il Bandino, an ancient hamlet now absorbed by Florence’s suburbs, an eighteenth-century plaque can still be seen on an old house; its inscription reads “Per Greve in Chianti” (To Greve in Chianti).
At one time, the Via Chiantigiana, the main access road through Tuscany’s classic wine region, began there, going along the course of the Greve River as far as Panzano, set at the top of one of the hills that form the watershed between the Pesa and the Greve valleys.
The first stretch of the road unwinds among the hills along a route that, to a large extent, still maintains the typical landscape of the traditional Florentine countryside: fields planted with grapevines and olive trees, dotted with cypress trees and rural buildings that are testament to Tuscany’s best architectural tradition. The countryside that accompanies the Via Chiantigiana’s route—covered with neat rows of grapevines, undulating between crags and hills, or broken by wild, sun-dappled woods—offers the visitor a constantly evolving landscape. Today, this area is considered home to the best of the Tuscan wines, the Chianti Classico, known and exported all over the world.