This beautifull castle complex with the vineyards around is situated on the top of the hill, right opposite to the Montefioralle. I never approached to it, have take only this photo from the distance.
Any usefull help regarding this castle and its names is very welcomed, am sure some fellow Vters knows something about it.
Castello Colognole is the 12th century construction, built of stone and in a shap of square. The castle is overlooking the town of Greve and Montefioralle at the other side and therefore had perfect strategic positions for the Guelphs.
Castello Verrazzano is another castle which had important strategic significance in defence of Florence during clashes between Guelphs and Ghibellines. The same as Vicchiomaggio, the castle Verrazzano was a stronghold of the Guelphs. Originally the castle was built in the late-Romanesque style but only the central tower remined from the original construction.
Verrazzano family is of Longobard origins, settled here between 7th and 10th centuries. It was home of Giovanni de Verrazzano, a navigator discoverer of New York harbour. However, the family died out in 1819 and thus interrupted the history of a series of worthy gentlemen who gave the first magistrates of the Republic of Florence and many times had honour of being the Prior.
Nowadays the property is famous as a producer of high quality Chianti Classico wines. Now it belongs to Cavaliere Luigi Capellini. Castello Verrazzano is also well known for musical events held on its magnificent roofted terrace.
Podera San Cresci isn't actually a hamlet, it is estate of the church along with the neighbouring vineyards, (podere is Italian word for the estate).Pieve di San Cresci is a producer of the world famous Chianti Classico, which can be tasted in a small wine-cellar adjacent to the church. I wasn't lucky to taste it because the wine cellar was closed at the time of my visit.
According to some of my previous experiences, wine which is produced at the church estates is of exceptional quality.
The 10th century church of San Cresci is one of the most important Romanesque structure in the region of Chianti. This parish church (pieve), named after the Holy Martyr Acrisio (known also as Cresci), is one of the most ancient in the diocese of Fiesole, documented for the first time in 963.
The facade shows a vivid mixture of white marly limestone and red terracotta bricks. Its original structure has been modified frequently over the centuries and so the Romanesque characteristics of the church have been preserved only in the little nathex in front facade, where the doorway is flanked by two mullioned windows.
The castle Vicchiomaggio dates back to the 1400, and was known as Vicchio dei Longobardi (Village of the Longobards). Situated on a top of the hill it dominates the whole Greve Valley and had very important strategic position in the Middle Ages. In fact, in the Middle Ages this castle was crucial for the defence of Florence during its feuds with the city of Siena (period of the wars between Gulephs and Ghibellines).
The castle Vicchiomaggio has hosted great Leonardo da Vinci while he was painting his masterpiece Monna Lisa.
The castle offers accomodation but minumum stay has to be of two nights. It is wide known for the production of wines, in particularly "Gambero Rosso". There is cantinetta of San Jacopo, adjacent to the castle, where tourists and visitors could taste estate's wines. The tour of vineyards and wine cellars is possible from mid of March till December, daily from 10 up to 17:30 hours.
The castle is situated in the surroundings of the small town Greve in Chianti.
We spent a wonderful week just outside Greve-in-Chianti and one of the favorite places we found was the tiny fortified village of Montefioralle. It's not on our Michelin map and if it weren't for the Greve Tourist web site, we never would have heard of it.
We spent a lovely Sunday afternoon there walking around, visiting the fortified cobblestone village, eating at a delightful restaurant, visiting the church and making friends with all the kitties walking around town.
I highly recommend the Taverna del Guerrino for lunch with a view. Also look for the birthplace of Amerigo Vespucci. The house is identified by a wasp (vespa) above the doorway.
There is a map on the web site below to help you find the village. There will be no other tourists there. Hard to find places like that in Tuscany these days.