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Castellina in Chianti

Castellina is one of the most charming hilltop villages in the Chianti. Set on the scenic Chiantigiana, it surveys symmetrical vineyards and wooded groves, a landscape dotted with low stone houses and ancient wine estates. Castellina’s name reveals its medieval function as a Florentine outpost. In the late 13th century it was the first site of the Chianti League, a group of three Florentine feudal castles, each responsible for a third of the territory. This strategic stronghold fell to a Sienese-Aragonese siege in 1478 but after Siena in turn fell in 1555, Castellina became a picturesque backwater. Tucked into its fortifications, Castellina looks much as it did in the 15th century. La Rocca, the mighty fortress, is now the town hall and home to a small archaeological museum, with tempting wine shops nearby. The circuit of walls encloses a warren of atmospheric backstreets with half-glimpsed views of the Chianti hills.

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