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Shopping & Parking

  • Shopping in San Donato in Poggio is limited so for wider shopping options, head to neighbouring Panzano, Castellina, Radda and, of course, Florence.  Panzano offers Chianti foodstuffs and, of course, cured meats. The Sunday morning market sells everything from fruit and vegetables to cheese, roast chicken, shoes and clothes. For even more choice, go to Greve or Castellina.

  • La Fattoria di Montecchio

    This award-winning, family-run wine-estate in San Donato features gorgeous tasting rooms overlooking the hills and family villa. The 270-hectare estate also includes an olive oil mill and L’Antica Fornace, a traditional terracotta-making factory, using the same techniques as in the terracotta heartland of neighbouring Impruneta. The estate even makes a wine aged in terracotta amphorae. The Nuti family prides itself on their Tuscan sense of humour and lack of airs and graces, even if they now own the magnificent villa that once belonged to the Torrigiani marquesses.
    Address: Strada Montecchio 4, San Donato in Poggio, 50028 Tavernelle Val di Pesa
     www.fattoriamontecchio.it  
    Tel: 055 8072907
    Web: www.fornaccemontecchio.it

  • Il Birrificcio Math

    As a change from wine, shop locally for tasty, amusingly named beers (such as `Alky Donkey’) from light Blanche to Belgian-style ales, all hand-crafted artisanal beers, brewed locally.
    Address: Via Senese 148, San Donato in Poggio, Tavernelle Val di Pesa 50028 


    Tel: (+39) 338 4584387
    Web: www.birrificiomath.com

  • La Casa Sola

    This welcoming Chianti wine estate in Barberino Val d’Elsa, west of San Donato, is relatively small and authentic, with an informal wine-tasting accompanied by cured meats and cheeses. The wines range from Chianti Classico to Super Tuscans and Vin Santo, which can all be shipped abroad.
    Address: Via di Cortine 5, 50021 Barberino Val d'Elsa
    Tel: 055 8075028
    Web: www.fattoriacasasola.it

  • Il Forno Castellacci

    This bakery in neighbouring Panzano produces a good range of biscuits. Its best-known are the cantucci from Panzano. These cantucci include the classic version of the crunchy almond biscuits but also variants, including ones made with pistachio, coffee or chocolate.

  • L’Accademia del Buon Gusto

    In Panzano, this is a wine shop with a difference thanks to its entertaining and effervescent owner. The lasting feeling is one of meeting a friend who cares passionately about both wine and Tuscany and wishes to share his knowledge. Multilingual Stefano Salvadori is a gracious, old-school host who entertains and informs about the wine wonderland that is Chianti. Stefano offers free tastings of Tuscan wines, olive oils and vinegars, all the while waxing lyrical about Chianti wines, Slow Food, Tuscan life, traditions, art, politics, the universe and everything. The wine shop is not called `The Academy of Good Taste’ by chance. Visitors leave uplifted and usually laden down with both wine and new knowledge.

  • La Bottega di Passignano

    In the ancient abbey of Badia a Passignano, just north of San Donato, do a wine-tasting and shop for other Antinori produce, such as the wine dynasty’s olive oil. The Bottega is a showcase to Antinori wines, along with upmarket foodstuffs from Procacci, the renowned Florentine delicatessen that is now owned by the Antinori. Tasty souvenirs include Procacci jams and truffled delicacies. You can also sample and buy wines from a range of Antinori estates, from solid Chianti Classico wines to acclaimed, pricey Super Tuscans.



    Address: Via di Passignano 33, Badia a Passignano, Localita Badia di Passignano, 50028 Tavernelle Val di Pesa
    www.osteriadipassignano.com
    Tel: 055 8071278
    Web: www.antinori.it

  • Luxury designer outlets

    For a complete change of scene, designer shopping fans could head to the luxury outlets in the Valdarno area. The Mall Firenze is a thirty-minute drive east from Florence, on the Pontassieve road. There’s also a direct shuttle bus there from Siena. After browsing the designer brands, end your shopping experience in the Mall’s Gucci café and restaurant.
    Address: The Mall, Via Europa 8, 50066 Leccio Reggello


    Tel: 055 8657775
    Web: www.themall.it

  • Parking

    Unless there’s a festival on, parking is usually straightforward, with plenty of spots below the main street. Parking options include via Senese and via dei Baluardi.

    Note that most Tuscan towns operate a strict ZTL system, a Limited Traffic Zone. This means that the Centro Storico (historic centre) is essentially closed to traffic, particularly for non-residents. Cars will need to be left outside the walls. That said, the Chianti towns are small so present far less trouble than such cities as Florence and Siena. Parking tips: for advice on individual Chianti places, please see our individual Destination guides, including those on Greve, Panzano, Castellina, Radda, Gaiole and Castelnuovo Beradenga

    Advice on ZTLs: You may see other cars crossing the ZTL boundary (Limited Traffic Zone) and assume you can proceed. Not so. The drivers crossing into the ZTL zone will probably be locals and have residents’ permits. Visitors do not so are liable to fines. Zones are monitored by cameras, so tickets are issued immediately and automatically, as soon as (and each time) the car crosses the ZTL boundary.

  • Getting around

    San Donato in Poggio is around 32 km from Florence and 46 km from Siena so San Gimignano, Florence and even Siena make for accessible day trips, as well as the Chianti, of course.

    San Donato’s popularity is party linked to its ease of access as just off the main Florence-Siena highway, known as the Raccordo Autostradale, or RAR. The hamlet is reached via the Strada Provinciale, the SP 101.

    The Chianti can be delightful driving country. Its appeal lies in the rolling countryside, array of vineyards and olive groves, relatively quiet roads, and the mix of small medieval towns. Public transport in the Chianti is rather sporadic so car hire makes the most sense if you want to explore the area properly. Driving in the Chianti can be deeply enjoyable experience, especially with a detailed map or GPS navigator to hand. For a great day out, try a customised tour with Chianti Taxi.

    Greve, the main gateway from the north, lies on the SR222, commonly known as the Chiantigiana, about 30 km south of Florence and 40 km north of Siena. From Greve, the scenic Chiantigiana meanders through the Chianti, passing through most of the typical villages. This is a charming route to take by day. At night, however, you might encounter wild boars, porcupines or deer crossing the road.

    From Florence and the Chiantigiana head towards Greve, then further south to Radda and Gaiole.  Or pick up the Florence-Siena Raccordo Autostradale highway (known as the RA) and take the San Donato in Poggio exit before following the SP101, which becomes the SP76.

    From Siena, leave town on the fast Florence-Siena Raccordo Autostradale highway (known as the RA), taking the Badesse exit for the SP 119, which becomes the SR222, the Chiantigiana. Or take the quieter, slower route from Siena: take the SR2, which becomes the more tranquil SR222 until Castellina and then onto Radda and Gaiole.

    By private tour: Chianti Taxi, a reliable Panzano-based transport service offers day-long private tours around the Chianti and beyond. These are customised tours that can take in everything from olive oil mills and wine estates to Pecorino farms and hand-painted ceramics. With his comfortable minivan, owner Daniele Mogni has the inside track on what you can do in the Chianti. It’s worth splashing out for a day so you can relax and drink your fill at the wine estates.
    Chianti Taxi. T: (+39) 389 8160050 & www.chiantitaxi.com

    The Chianti by train: this is not an easy place to reach by rail. The train service barely touches Chianti's attractions, which is part of the reason why the area is so peaceful. The main Chianti station is Castellina in Chianti, which is on the Siena-Florence line but you need to change trains at Empoli.

    The Chianti by bus: Buses connect Florence to Greve and Panzano but end there. These buses often provide a more useful service than the trains but the confusing 365 bus service (T: 800373760, freephone only & www.acvbus.it) still means that bus schedules are not always convenient and also operate a limited service on Sunday. Buses also connect Siena and Castellina: a Tiemme bus service (T: 0577 204111 & www.tiemmespa.it) operates around 7 services a day.  Buses also connect Castellina and Radda: a Tiemme bus service (T: 0577 204111 & www.tiemmespa.it). Buses also connect Siena and Gaiole: a Tiemme bus service (T: 0577 204111 & www.tiemmespa.it).

    On your bike: The Chianti is a lovely place to explore by bike. The combination of romantic Tuscan scenery and challenging gravel roads is what makes it enjoyable. The cycling races in the region also attract big crowds. Whether as a spectator or a participant, L’Eroica is worth following. This renowned amateur event that allows cyclists from around the world to experience the region while riding classic bikes. The parking in Gaiole is outside the town centre on the Strada Provinciale 408 or in the car park on via Marconi. Note that most Tuscan towns operate a strict ZTL system, a Limited Traffic Zone. This means that the Centro Storico (historic centre) is essentially closed to traffic, particularly for non-residents. Cars will need to be left outside the walls. That said, the Chianti towns are small so present far less trouble than such cities as Florence and Siena. Parking tips: for advice on individual Chianti places, please see our individual Destination guides, including those on Greve, Panzano, Castellina, Radda and Castelnuovo Beradenga.

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