The Chianti and its red rubbish wine, with its flavour of “mammaola” and its harmonious taste: without any doubt, it is an inseparable association, but the Chianti is also more.
The strong link the man has developed with the territory, preserving it with great care, can be admired through a flourishing countryside, bordered with vineyards and olive trees, therefore creating a rural life of great quality that produces excellent typical products, still following the rhythms of the seasons and of the land: the oil of the Siena territory, the “cacio pecorino” (cheese) of March, the bread in the oven lasting a week and that is the basis of the bouillie, boiled again, with tomatoes and a lot of other tasty dishes of the rural tradition, the flavoured meats of the game tasted with a good glass of wine.
In addition to the taste of the palate, the curiosity of the traveller is stimulated by the rocks, the palaces, the churches, the abbeys and the countryside he finds, managed with a secular wisdom and that welcomes him in its villages located on top of the hills: Castellina in Chianti, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Gaiole in Chianti and Radda in Chianti.
Castellina in Chianti, where was created in 1924 the Consortium of the Classical Chianti which obtained in 1984 the D.O.C.G. label, is spread on a hill with woods, vineyards and olive trees. Of Etruscan-Roman origins, it has preserved the antique Castle projected during the second half of the 15th century by Giuliano da Sangallo. Are also of great interest the Romanic churches of San Leonino in Conio and of San Martino a Cispiano.
Castelnuovo Berardenga covers a territory delimitated by the Arbia and Ombrone rivers, being therefore located among the green of the vineyards and the “moon” atmospheres of the Hills of Siena. In its surroundings, in 1260, took place the famous battle of Montaperti between Siena and Florence. Inside the city one can admire the Castle dating back to 1366, the church of the Saints Giusto and Clement and the Villa of Sesta. In the territory of Castelnuovo Berardenga it is possible to admire the particular tradition of the historic gardens of the 18th century located in Arceno, Pontignano, Villa la Pagliaia, Catignano, Geggiano and Sestano.
Gaiole in Chianti is located on a land rich of Romanic churches, crossed by a true “Road of the Castles”, that is the testimony of the process of medieval “castle building” of the area. We can admire the castle of Cacchiano, dating back to the 13th century, destroyed by the Aragon’s in 1478 and built again in 1530; the Castle of Brolio, of Lombard origin but that became a neo gothic villa during the 19th century; the castle of Monteluco, located on a hill a few kilometres away from Gaiole.
Radda in Chianti is completely immerged in the area of the Classical Chianti of Siena and has preserved a great number of evidences of its Etruscan and medieval origins. Among the numerous castles built in the area, only the one of Volpaia has preserved the walls with towers and a shuttering. The other castles, such as the ones of Albola and Monterinaldi for instance, have reached our days in a condition of ruins. Others, such as the one of Castelvecchio, have been transformed in seigniorial villas or colonial houses, which is the case of the castles of Castiglione, Trebbio and Paterno. Moreover, it is still possible to see a lot of fortified medieval habitations, that the city of Radda have inherited from the antique nobles of the war aristocracy.
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