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Shopping, Parking & Getting Around

  • Shopping

    Shopping is a pleasurable experience in Greve, especially for Chianti foodstuffs. The Saturday market in Greve is lined with stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to cheese, olives, cured meats, flowers, fashion, hand-woven baskets and objects carved out of olive wood. The best foodie emporium is Antica Macelleria Falorni, adjoining Il Bistro Falorni (`the butcher’s bistrot’). As for wine-tasting, the most beguiling spot is L’Enoteca Falorni. Yes, the same family butchers really do have their finger in every meat pie.

  • L’Antica Macelleria Falorni

    Founded in 1806, this old-world macelleria (butcher’s shop) is a homely spot. Call by to pick up tasty picnic provisions, including cinta senese, a prized Sienese cured meat, or finocchiana briciolana, pork salami made with fennel seeds and Chianti wine. If you’re tempted to stay for a bite, then call into the adjoining Il Bistro Falorni, the `butcher’s bistrot,’ café and gourmet delicatessen.

    Address: Piazza Matteotti 71, 50022 Greve in Chianti
    Tel: 055 853029

  • L’Enoteca Falorni

    Set in charming brick-vaulted wine cellars in Greve, this wine shop is the place to prepare your palate before exploring the local vineyards. From Chianti Classico to Super Tuscans, it’s a great selection. This place is owned by the same family who run Il Bistro Falorni and L’Antica Macelleria Falorni.  L’Enoteca doubles as a wine bar and a light lunch spot or as a place for coffee and cakes. While `testing’ the wines, nibble on salads and club sandwiches or sample cured meats prepared by Greve’s renowned local butcher.

    Address: Piazza delle Cantine 6, 50022 Greve in Chianti
    Tel: 055 8546404

  • La Bottega di Passignano, Badia a Passignano

    Just west of Greve, in the ancient abbey of Badia a Passignano, consider browsing for Antinori produce, from wine to 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 everyday Chianti Classico to acclaimed, pricey Super Tuscans.

    Address: Via di Passignano 33, Localita Badia di Passignano, 50028 Tavernelle Val di Pesa
    Tel: 055 8071278

  • Parking

    Chianti towns such as Greve present a far easier parking proposition than the big cities of Florence or Siena. Parking is relatively straightforward unless Greve is enjoying a major summer event or is welcoming its big September wine fair.

    Unless you’re lucky enough to find a space on the main square, your best parking option (coming from Florence) is to turn left onto via Cesare Battisti and find a large car park on via Rosa Libri. There is an additional car park on via Luca Cini. From there, it’s an easy stroll into town.

    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 towns, please see our individual Destination guides, including those on Panzano, Radda, Castellina, 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

    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.

    The Chianti is 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 sporadic so car hire makes the most sense in order to explore the area properly. Driving in the Chianti can be deeply enjoyable, especially with a detailed map or GPS navigator to hand.

    The Florence-Siena road (Superstrada Firenze-Siena) is a dual carriageway leading to the Chianti. Poggibonsi Nord is the Chianti exit. From there, follow your map or your GPS. The SR2 - Cassia is the old Roman road that runs parallel to the Superstrada and borders the Chianti, passing through Poggibonsi and Monteriggioni.

    The Chianti by train: the Chianti is not easy 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 provide more useful services but the sporadic 365 service still means that bus schedules are not always convenient and also operate a limited service on Sunday. Buses run from Florence to Greve, Radda, Castellina and Gaiole.

    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 allows cyclists to experience the region while riding classic bikes.

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