We have the privilege and good fortune for our winery to be located just five minutes by car and fifteen minutes’ walking distance from one of Chianti’s most beautiful wine towns: Greve in Chianti. Any wine lover who comes to visit us will certainly want to stop by this village and be immersed in its Tuscan small town atmosphere. It is a treasure trove of history, art, and delicious local flavors.
The gateway to Chianti: background and history of the town
Greve in Chianti is often called the gateway to Chianti wine territory. It is one of the principle towns of Chianti Classico and has been an important and bustling economic and cultural center in the heart of Tuscany for centuries. One reason for this is its excellent location. Greve is strategically placed almost exactly between Florence to the north and Siena to the south, and as such was caught in the rival cities’ crossfires throughout its history. Not only that, but Greve is located on the famous Via Chiantigiana, or the SR 222 road, considered by many to be one of the most scenic routes in the area. This road then leads into two other important territories: Val di Pesa and Valdarno. Considering all this, it’s incredible how quaint, peaceful, and charming Greve in Chianti remains today!
The town has always been connected to the nearby Castle of Montefioralle, a medieval fortification built in the early 10th century by a German monk who founded it as a monastery. It became more of a military stronghold when it Castruccio Castracani conquered it in 1325 and modified the architecture. But even before this, in the 1200s the inhabitants of Montefioralle already held their weekly marketplace in Greve in Chianti. Still today, the market is held every Saturday in the main piazza.
Visiting Greve in Chianti
What to see
Though Greve in Chianti is a small town that can be traversed entirely on foot, it is full of attractions. It offers museums, churches, shops, restaurants, enotecas, and some great people watching from its cafes lined up under the porticoes of Piazza Matteotti. Many of these locales are located in this main triangular Piazza Matteotti and along Via Roma and Via Garibaldi.
The Church of Santa Croce has a beautiful neo-Classical façade with several artistic masterpieces held within, such as a 14th century fresco and a 15th century triptych. In the Museum of Sacred Art, which is housed in what used to be the Convent of San Francesco, there are paintings, sculptures, and the original altarpiece. Wine lovers will enjoy the vintage farm equipment and corkscrew collection at the Wine Museum—not to mention the wine tasting!
Several shops are locally famous, too, such as the Antica Macelleria Falorni (one of our top restaurant picks in town, by the way), and the Bottega dell’Artigianato, or “craftsman’s shop,” with goods made from olive wood and other handmade objects. Both are located in Piazza Matteotti.
Two historical Tuscans from the area
Near the neo-Renaissance building of the Palazzo del Comune (city hall) in the main square is a statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano. Born in Val di Greve, this famous explorer “discovered” the Hudson Bay in New York (among many other adventures of note).
And Amerigo Vespucci, who in fact first recognized the Americas as a distinct continent (hence why America was named after him), may have been born in Montefioralle (though other accounts say he was born in Florence). Drive or walk up the steep 1.5 km towards this town from Greve to visit his ancestral home on the main circular road of the town, and see if you can spot the family crest with its wasp above the door.
Gretting to Greve in Chianti
Greve in Chianti is located about 30 km south of Florence and 40 km north of Siena along the Via Chiantigiana (SR 222). Fortunately, it is also easy to get to the town by public transport from Florence: outside the Santa Maria Novella train station, take Bus 365.