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A drive to Greve and a rural walk to Montefioralle

  • A drive to Greve and a rural walk to Montefioralle

    Enjoy a scenic morning’s drive to Greve, the capital of the Florentine Chianti and, after a stroll around the town centre, head for the hills on a short hike to medieval Montefioralle. In Greve, potter around the porticoed Piazza Matteotti, the main square. Glance at the neo-Renaissance Town Hall, the Palazzo del Comune, and the parish church of Santa Croce, with its neo-classical facade. Drop into Bistro Falorni (Piazza Matteotti 71) for a welcome glass of Chianti Classico in preparation for your hike. Wine is big business in Greve and has been for centuries.

    Perched on a hill just outside Greve is medieval Montefioralle, a tiny, walled `borgo.’ This hidden gem is just five minutes’ drive west of Greve but makes a delightful walk. From Greve, it’s a short, steep but rewarding 2km hike ending in wonderful views. Start in via di San Francesco off via Roma. The winding route leads to the walled settlement, once the feudal castle. Although no longer a military outpost, Montefioralle is still fortified. The walls were once octagonal, bounded by four gates, parts of which survive.

    Following the tides of Tuscan history, the village has belonged to the Ricasoli, Benci, Gherardini and Vespucci families. The village was the birthplace of Amerigo Vespucci (1415-1512), who followed Columbus’ route to America. The explorer’s ancestral home lies along the main street, and is indicated by his coat of arms, incorporating a wasp. Wander along narrow alleys and secret passageways past well-preserved stone-built houses. The village is surmounted by the church of Santo Stefano but panoramic views also await in the local inns.

    Unless you’ve brought a picnic from Greve, opt for lunch in a Montefioralle inn, such as the romantic La Castellana or the simpler La Taverna del Guerrino. La Taverna is a Slow Food haunt but looks rather like a `hole-in-the-wall’ place, despite being blessed with a panoramic terrace. Typical dishes include Tuscan grills (cooked on a wood-fired grill) and pasta dishes. The best seasonal pasta dishes are tagliatelle al cinghiale (with wild boar), tagliatelle al tartufo fresco (with fresh truffles) and tagliatelle ai funghi porcini freschi (with fresh ceps). Alternatively, have a late lunch back in Bistro Falorni on the main square in Greve.

    Address: La Taverna del Guerrino,
    Via di Montefioralle Centro 39,
    Localita Montefioralle,
    Greve in Chianti
    Tel: 055 853106

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