Discovering Porta del Chianti

Discovering Porta del Chianti

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Half way between  the Italian cities of Florence and Siena stands Greve in Chianti, better known as “La Porta del Chianti”, where the Chianti Classico is produced. Very picturesque, Greve in Chianti is a small village with a strong Tuscan  feel about it. In Greve, like  many Italian villages,  the main square is where everything happens with its Saturday markets  and all year round fairs and festivals.

With its triangular shape, highlighted by a colonnade on all three sides, the square has a unique character. Facing the square are craft ateliers, restaurants and shops where you can taste traditional local food. Do not forget that we are in Tuscany, so Greve is rich in history, art and culture.

The neo-Renaissance town hall here was built on the ruins of the Renaissance public building of Palazzo Pretorio. At the side of the town hall stands the great statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano, who was born a few miles from here and the first to discover the Bay of New York. On the opposite side of the Town Hall we find the Church of Santa Croce, with its particular Neoclassical facade. It was built on the ruins of an ancient medieval church and houses important art pieces collected from other churches in the area.  Among these valuable pieces, a fourteenth-century fresco of the Madonna col Bambino and a triptych by Bicci di Lorenzo that dates to 1420.

Not far from the square is the Museum of Sacred Art, housed in the lodging of St. Francis where the original altar of the annexed oratory is still kept, with its beautiful sculptural group in painted terracotta.

Not least, Greve hosts a museum dedicated to the town’s own local fame. Don’t miss a tour of the Wine Museum, where almost 200 different wines can be tasted and the ancient utensils that were used to produce the wine are on display, including a collection of nearly 180 different corkscrews.

Anyone wishing to learn more about wine and interested in tasting some of the best locally produced ones can book a free guided tour

Before leaving, you should plan a visit to Montefioralle, a small village located on top of the hills, less than 2 km from the center. The narrow stone streets, the walls and the beautiful views onto the Chianti Valley make this village a rare jewel.