Chianti Classico. When you think of these two words, most often, a robust, spicy, flowery wine comes to mind. While this is a true description of one of my favorite wines, these two words offer so much more than a flavorful vino. For me, it represents the heart of Tuscany.
Only a handful of landscapes throughout Tuscany will provide the panoramic view that the Chianti region offers. Driving the miles and miles of curvy roads and impressive hills, it’s hard not to have the urge to pull over every five minutes and take in the view. As far as your eyes can see, are hills laced with olive groves and vineyards, resulting in a breathtaking beauty that cannot be described by words.
Things to do in the Chianti Region
Because I strive to offer only one of a kind culinary adventures, the Chianti region is a part of my 2012 itinerary to Tuscany. The region stretches out from Florence to Siena and is home to historic villages and medieval towns surrounded by some of the most outstanding views and a splendor that you will usually only find in paintings.
First and foremost, this magnificent area is strongly tied to its wine production. In Chianti, wine is the center of attention. Many areas throughout the region offer exceptional wine tastings and vineyard tours. Some of these vineyards are the backyards of old historic farmhouses, while others are newer and are a part of modernized facilities. Among the small towns that surround these vineyards are stop and go wine bars and merchants that sell the local wines, as well as assortments of cheeses and gifts. For wine lovers and novices, a wine adventure in Chianti is one that you will never forget.
Equal to wine in Chianti, is the eclectic and awe-inspiring collection of castles and farmhouses that dot the landscape. Some of these enormous structures are nestled on high hills or tucked away in lush vegetation. Many are now tourist attractions offering tours, while others have been converted into villas and rental properties. The most unique part of these architectural marvels is that they each have their own story to tell. A large majority of them have been in the same family for generations, making each visit a unique and unforgettable experience.
Finally, when visiting Chianti, a cooking lesson (or two) should be at the top of your to-do list. An authentic Italian cooking class will change how you feel about the kitchen forever. I’ve found several culinary lessons in Tuscany. Each of them offer endless opportunities to learn how to cook the true Tuscan way. Most of the culinary lessons in Tuscany that I have found offer the opportunity to really roll up your sleeves and assist in the entire process. From picking your own produce and veggies, and preparing homemade pastas, to sipping wines made from grapes harvested right in the backyard—it’s an experience that will change the way you feel about how you prepare your foods.
Yes, there are endless things to do in the Chianti region. Chianti is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed. When visiting Italy, this magnificent region is an opportunity not to be missed!
Stay tuned for my next blog: The top 10 places to go in Tuscany.
Carol Ketelson is the owner and operator of Delectable Destinations LLC. Dedicated to planning, co-ordinating and curating customized group tours to hand-picked destinations. As an experienced travel planner, Carol’s customized itineraries, specialized tours and off-the-beaten-path experiences create memorable journeys for her small groups of singles, couples, divorced, widowed and solo travelers seeking exceptional trips into the culture and cuisine of destinations around the world. Spring and Fall bookings invite travelers to taste delectable local cuisine, culturally rich traditions and mesmerizing sights. For over 10 years, Carol’s tours have captured the true essence of Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Spain, Ireland and India.