Greve in Chianti
THE ENTRYWAY TO AND “MARKET” OF CHIANTI: VINEYARDS, ART, AND AUTHENTIC ATMOSPHERE
reve in Chianti is a lively town in the Florentine countryside whose beating heart lies in the main square Born at the end of the 12th century, the “market” of Greve enjoyed a strategic position with respect to the important communication routes of the period. Piazza Matteotti, in its triangular form, framed by stone arcades under which sellers once exhibited their goods, retains the ancient commercial vocation of the town. Today it is enlivened by restaurants, butcher shops, wine bars, and artisans’ shops where the traditional atmosphere is found unchanged. In the centre of the square you will see the statue portraying Giovanni da Verrazzano, the 16th century navigator born in the castle of the same name not far from Greve, who became famous for exploring the coast of North America and being the first European to enter New York Bay. In the same square you will see the Palazzo Comunale, which was built in the 16th century, and the Propositura di Santa Croce (the Basilica of the Holy Cross). The latter, built in 1833 in the neoclassical style, houses important works from local churches: a 15th century crucifix, a ciborium (a freestanding canopy supported by columns) decorated with angels in glazed terracotta, and the triptych Madonna Enthroned with Saints Nicholas, John the Baptist, Thomas, and Martin. From the pleasant walk under the arcades, you can continue along via Roma to browse in the classic traditional shops and then walk towards the Museo Comunale di Arte Sacra (the Municipal Museum of Sacred Art), located in the former Hospice of Saint Francis.
"As lively as its market and piazza, as beautiful as a naturalistic portrait of the countryside along the via Chiantigiana"
Following the via Chiantigiana, in the countryside from the south of Florence to Greve, is a wonderful journey in a naturalistic setting where vineyards, villas, and castles are the real stars. Examples of these include the Castles of Vicchiomaggio and Verrazzano that rise above woods and vineyards with their 13th century towers. Not far from the centre of Greve in Chianti lies the very beautiful fortified town of Montefioralle, included on the list of the most beautiful towns in Italy, which still retains its medieval origins in its structure. From the little cobbled streets of Montefioralle rise picturesque stone houses clustered around the ancient castle, the heart of the town. Little more than a kilometre from Montefioralle you can visit a small jewel, the pieve (parish church) of San Cresci, built in Romanesque style, then restored with elements in the Gothic and Baroque styles, making it special and unique. If you then turn towards Siena, you will arrive at the junction for Lamole, a place recognized as a “historic rural landscape of Italy” because of its breathtaking panoramas and for its tradition of growing grapes “bush style” on terraces built starting in the Middle Ages to adapt to the steep hillsides. Located on the route that links Lamole with Greve stands Vignamaggio, an architectural complex of late medieval origin.
South of Greve you will find Panzano in Chianti, where the town is dominated by a castle that retains its ancient grandeur with stylistic features of the 13th century and 15th century additions. Not far you will find the Pieve (Parish Church) di S. Leolino, among the oldest in all of Chianti, located on a hill with a panoramic view of the wide valley of woods, olive groves, and vineyards of the Conca d’Oro (Golden Basin, so-named for its former fields of wheat).
In the green heart of Tuscany, you can find a territory known all over the world for its beauty. Let’s talk about Chianti, a region rich in vineyards and olive groves, where slow living has become a universal keyword.
Other places to see
Agritourism farms, emblems of sustainability, are the type of accommodation that most distinguishes this land of rural farmhouses scattered throughout the silence of the countryside. The castles, villas, and historic homes are immersed in a noble atmosphere that evokes times gone by. Awakening in Chianti is a unique experience.