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Pottering in perfect countryside

  • Pottering in perfect countryside

    It’s a travesty to equate Tuscany with `Chiantishire’, a parody of an English country-house party transposed to Italy. It is also misleading to reduce the region to Renaissance art, Florentine architecture and the Chianti vineyards. The Tuscan landscape is as beautiful as the art. This soothing scenery, dotted with hill-towns, inspired the Renaissance masters.

    The SS222, known as the Chiantigiana, or Chianti Way, winds its picturesque way from Florence to Siena, through the heart of the region, offering archetypal scenes of cypress trees, olive groves and vineyards. You could begin in Greve in Chianti or Panzano in Chianti, preferably during a weekend market. But even without an agenda, the Chianti makes perfect sense, stopping wherever takes your fancy.

    Fortunately, this is the best-organised wine region in Italy, not just in Tuscany. Chianti wines have been commercialised for over three hundred years so this is a sophisticated and visitor-friendly wine region. Arguably, the wine-touring experience is the smoothest available in Italy. Even if booking is generally preferred, the estates are adept at welcoming visitors and ensuring that you come away with a true sense of place and even a rekindled passion for Tuscan wine. It’s rarely about a quick slurp and moving on. In a place where nothing is essential viewing, everywhere is a glorious detour. &

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