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Chianti Senese


The area of Chianti belonging to the province of Siena begins south of Panzano. If you would like more information as to what sites there are in the area, head for Castellina (Picture 3) where you will find this.
This town,very small with a population of under 3,000 inhabitants, is recognizable for the enormous silos visible in the distance, and which are stocked with Chianti Classico.
There is a car park in the south where you can leave your car and start a tour around the town. Starting with Via Ferruccio to your right take Via del Volte which is immediately recognisable as it is like a tunnel. At present it is lined with houses and places to purchase and taste wine and shades walkers in the scorching hot summer days. One of the wine-tasting places here is Antica Fattoria la Castellina (tel. 0577 74 04 54; Via Ferruccio 26 ).
For further information on places to stay and maps, the tourist information office is located at Via Ferruccio 40 (www.essenceoftuscany.com; open 10am, to 1pm and 2-6pm every day Mar-Nov, to 1pm and 2-4pm closed Sun Dec-Feb).
There is the Archeological Museum of Chianti Senese housed in the fortress of Castellina (tel. 055 74 20 90; www.museoarcheologico.it; Piazza del Commune 18; open 10am-1pm and 3.30-6.30pm Thu-Tue). The museum has artefacts revealing the ancestral Etruscan origin of the area.

Radda, 11 km from Castellina, is a popular town of 1,750 inhabitants which attracts tourists keen for a glimpse of the real Tuscany. Radda’s central square, called Piazza Ferrucci, is presided over by the Palazzo del Podestà. The palace was constructed in the 16th century.
The tourist office is at Piazza Castello 6 (Ufficio Pro Loco: tel. 0577 73 84 94; open 10am-1 and 3-7pm Mon-Sat, 10.30am-1pm Sun mid Apr-mid Oct, 10.30am-12.30pm and 3.30-6.30pm closed Sun rest of the year). They can recommend good walking routes in the area.

Castello di Volpaia (tel. 0577 73 80 66; www.volpaia.it; Piazza della Cisterna 1 in Volpaia) is located 6 km to the north of Radda. This lovely hamlet has produced wine, olive oil and vinegar for centuries.
To get a good feel for the hamlet and its beauty take a guided tour or organize your own, ensuring to visit the enoteca in the castle´s highest tower.

Gaiole in Chianti (Picture 1) is a very attractive village yet  does not have much to offer other than its imposing castle- Castello di Brolio (Picture 2) (tel. 0577 73 19 19; www.ricasoli.it; open 10am-5.30pm Mar-Nov) which has belonged to the same family for about 8 centuries. The castle is open for strolls around the Italian-stylel garden, the battlements and burial chapel. It also has an informal bar-restaurant. In the summer on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings you can join a tour to the cellar and dinner with wine. They range from €35 to 40.

Along the SS408 heading south for Siena is the Parco Sculture del Chianti (tel. 0577 35 71 51; www.chiantisculpturepark.it; open 10-sundown Apr-Oct, only upon reservation rest of the year. The park is located in Pieve Asciata between Gaiole and Siena, a short distance from both and is a large forested area exhibiting contemporary sculptures and art installations.

Chianti Rùfina extends over 12,500 hectares in the hills to the east of Florence. Its wine production has been unfairly overlooked by wine aficionados, who are immediately attracted by the famous Chianti Classico. Nevertheless, wine experts in fact consider the wine produced in Chianti Rùfina among the highlights of the region. Fattoria Selvapiana (tel. 055 836 98 48; www.selvapiana.it; Via Selvapiana, Rùfina) and Castello Nipozzano (tel. 055 27 141; www.frescobaldi.it;  Nipozzano, Pelago)’s wines are recommended. There is further information about the wine tasting trails in Chianti Rùfina at the following site www.chiantirufina.com.