Castellina in Chianti

Gateway to Siennese Chianti in Tuscany, Italy

Castellina in Chianti

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The pretty town of Castellina in Chianti is located on the Chiantigiana wine road, SR 222, on a ridge that separates the Pesa valley from the Staggia valley, and thus enjoying magnificent views of the surrounding Chianti countryside. Castellina is dominated by a fine castle (Rocca Comunale di Castellina) and one of its most interesting features is the Via delle Volte, a mediaeval covered walkway, that was once part of the defence system of the town. During the Middle Ages, Castellina struggled for supremacy with Poggibonsi, now the main centre of Val d'Elsa, but at that time Sienna's forward outpost against its enemy, Florence. Castellina was finally conquered by the Florentines in 1270 although it remains part of the Provincia di Siena to this day. The town is to some extent marred by two hideous buildings dating from the 1960's which it is to be hoped will eventually be either be torn down or converted into something more acceptable.

Castellina makes an excellent lunch stop-over point for those exploring the Chianti Classico wine zone and, indeed, it is a perfect base for a stay of several days with accommodation in town as well as numerous agriturismi in the surrounding area. The main street of Castellina in car-free and provides a relaxing stroll with a number of restaurants, food shops and wine outlets. One of the best gelato shops in Tuscany is located here. On no account miss it.

Very close to Castellina there are a number of Etruscan remains, including a 7th century BC Etruscan tomb, the Tumolo di Montecalvario.

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