A Village Stroll through Chianti

Panzano in Chianti

Panzano in Chianti

The early Fall morning in Chianti is crisp and quiet. My first night at the Castello Verrazzano (yes, the bridge in New York is named after Captain Verrazzano) in Greve leaves me refreshed and eager to explore the new surroundings. I hike up the half mile to the castle from my farmhouse lodgings and eat an early breakfast of artisan cheese and rustic bread washed down with a rich brew of fresh coffee. My fellow lodgers and I share our plans for the day, from winery tours to B&B shopping. Gazing off the deck high above the valley, rows of vineyards swell gently over the landscape. Every row is straight and precise. Another castle sits like a crown jewel on the next tall hill a short distance away.

Back at my car, I head south through Greve on Via Chiantigana. This route cuts through the middle of the famously picturesque Chianti Classico wine zone. With no itinerary, I lean back and absorb the fresh green ambience.  No radio, just me and Chianti. Only 20 minutes down the winding road I come upon the town of Panzano. The brickwork framed with bright flowers and towering church on the main square entice me to stop and take a look around. Following are some of the highlights of my village stroll.

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Someone with an obviously incredible green thumb lives here. The clay pots on the steps and across the wall sprout colorful flowers which add a rich texture to a stately entryway. If only I could make my doorway at home look like this.

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Churches in Italy fascinate me. Santa Maria Assunta adorns the piazza with old world charm. However, unlike many churches in Italy, this one is not very old. It was constructed between 1890 and 1903.

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Door Panels on the church built in 1964 depict scenes from church history. At the top is Pope John XXIII.

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The village streets bring out the shopper in me. To the right are rows of shirts with a cartoon wild boar on the front. Of course, I have to buy one. Chianti has its share of wild boar, called cinghiale, and they are hunted for their tasty meat that often accompanies a pasta sauce or hearty stew.
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Intrigued by a green door outside an old medieval aristocratic residence, I enter into this wine cellar run by three entrepreneurs. Although I did not eat here, the food is traditional Tuscan with a modern twist. I was taken by the rustic atmosphere with a stone terrace that offers both indoor and outdoor dining.

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I stop here for a cappuccino at II Vinaio, an enoteca and bar. Covered completely overhead with a thick green canopy of leaves, the lively chatter of people below entice me to linger. Afterwards, I find some stairs straight ahead that lead down to the lower part of town.
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Most of the doorways are clean and tidy with lots of greenery. Today the village is very quiet except for some tourists roaming the streets.
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Poor old Mr. Boar has been reduced to only a head. Yet he symbolizes an important landmark for tourists. Inside, the famously winsome owner Stefano will let you try some of Chianti’s most remarkable wines. He also offers samples of local honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

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Shallow doorways in rustic brickwork are around almost every corner. Small and pristine, village life in Chianti is the perfect week away for anyone seeking impeccable streets, medieval ambience, tasty authentic Tuscan cuisine and panoramic vistas.



Categories: History

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37 replies

  1. Stunning Susan. Your posts make me yearn for Italy even more.. Next time Chianti together ok?

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  2. Susan, thank you for taking me on this walk through a Chianti village! I love the flowers and views and can taste the chianti! I’ve not tried cinghiale but will look forward to doing so next visit!

    My very best to you,
    Renate

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  3. Susan, I adore how warm and pretty Chianti looks in these pictures. The stonework and clay give it the old world charm that is so often missing on our continent. I enjoy your choice of scenery to photograph.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

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  4. This reminds me so much of Assisi. Another great read. I love this part – With no itinerary, I lean back and absorb the fresh green ambience. No radio, just me and Chianti. … although, I can’t help but remember the famous line from The Silence of the Lamb … A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Ahihihi😀

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  5. Beautiful! I drove through Panzano a few months ago and now I wish I made time to stop and check it out! My husband and I spent the night in Certaldo Alto and wandered around Colle di Val d’Elsa and Monteriggioni the following day.

    There are so many incredible stops that I really hope we escape to a new little town once a month so I can see as much as Tuscany as possible!

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  6. Wow! Such amazing photos! Thanks for posting.

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  7. We are transported to this village with your aid – you did not know you had that power did you? Putting it on the long bucket list now!

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  8. I am in an Italian sort of mood today so your post made me a bit nostalgic. I am that rare Italian who hardly ever pines for her home country, until I see photos like these and I suddenly want to be there.

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  9. I agree with Maxine – your site is such a joy and the pictures are fabulous. I love it and look forward to seeing it. Thank you Susan for sharing these lovely places with us.🙂

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  10. beautiful photographs and informative, Susan – have not yet visited the region; will definitely remember it ! thank you

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  11. We love to drive through this area. I haven’t been to Panzano, but will keep an eye out for it on our next drive.

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  12. Another stunning village thank you Susan. I will be in the area next week so it will be wonderful if we can visit here also

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  13. Thank you for this post, Susan. In some ways, we regret not getting to the Chianti region in 2012, but we were very happy with the time we spent in Montepulciano, Cortona, Arezzo and that area. Next time, perhaps !!!

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  14. I have a friend going to Chianti in October! I will send her your wonderful post!

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  15. Each picture made me feel as if I was walking through Chianti! The flowers and the scenery are gorgeous!

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  16. I love your site, I look forward to receiving it, the pictures are amazing and the info great to read. It makes my day when I see it.

    Thank you

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