So-called Chianteggio is an area situated in between towns of Firenze and Siena, as far as I am concerned, one of the most beautiful part in the Province of Toscana (Tuscany). This relatively small area can be visited by car, up and down, in one day only but if you realy wont to explore whole of its beauty, you'll need much longer time.
Chianti is world wide famous wine coming out from the region which is situated on the road in between Firenze and Siena. The locals call it Chianteggio, one of the most charming Italian area I have seen so far. There are dozens of small villages, always situated on the top of the hill, hard to decide which one is more beautiful. My favourite is Montefioralle, which belongs to the community of Greve.
Actually, I knew just a little of Chianti but had no clue about Montefioralle. This small and very charming village is situated on the top of the hill, right along the road, and since it was shone-upon the morning sun I just couldn't withstand not to stop here. In fact, Montefioralle is the most beautiful place I have seen in whole of Tuscany.
Panzano is another little gem of Chianti, situated just a few kilomteres away from Montefioralle in diredtion to Siena. The local church, which dominates the whole hilltop and is visible from a far distance, convinced me to visit this small and charming village.
"Small village nearby Montefioralle"
The area of Chianti is full of beautiful and enchanting landscapes, so characteristic for the whole of Tuscany. Thickly woods are followed by vineyards or olive-grove and large fields in thousand colours. Hilltops are dominated by the castles or charming and congested villages. Here and there you can see a lot of lonely houses or hamlets which looks deserted under the summer heat.
The Abby of Antinori
"The 11th. century Abby of Antinori"
28 Dec, 2004
...Leaving Casaloste we traveled to Antinori to have lunch and to see the cellars of the 11th. Century Abby. Our meal started with small servings of 3 different olive oils; one from Sicily, one from Florence, and one from Chianti. There were different kinds of bread to dip into the oil and taste the distinct flavors. Following this was an antipasta of five pieces: a square of fried polenta with a strip of marinated pork, a roasted strip of pord topped with ground olives that was called the "tuna of Chianti", a salad with small pieces of salami, and artichoke heart with slivers of pecoroni cheese. Riboletta soup was next and then a meat sauce served over pasta with dessert and coffee to follow.
...the monks have made wine here since the Abby was founded. The underground cellars are topped with several feet of enclosed airspace, on top of which is the Abby itself. This arrangement provides an insulation that keeps the cellars cool in summer and warm in winter. As an added precaution against the cold there is a large fireplace and then a second smaller firebox with a metal sink above it. By filling the sink with water and building a fire under it the monks could fill the cellars with steam.
"Home in the rain"
As we left the "Abby to return to our van the temperature had begun to drop and clouds to move into the evening sky. The rain sometimes followed and sometimes chased us home across tuscany to our hotel in Pisa.