Greve in Chianti, 16 miles (26 km) from Florence, is the most representative town in Florentine Chianti and the heart of the local wine industry.
Given the many typical products of this area and the variety of local recipes, it is quite impossible to identify the real culinary symbol of the town. For sure, tasting a generous serving of 'panzanella' will be an unforgettable experience. Panzanella was born in ancient time as recycled recipe, its simplicity and authenticity has kept its value intact until today. It is a salad made with fresh vegetables and stale bread, with a unique taste and the unmistakable colors of the ingredients from this charming land.
Not far from Greve in Chianti, you can visit Montefioralle, a medieval town where Amerigo Vespucci, explorer, sailor and cartographer, was born. He traveled to America following Christopher Columbus' route and, once back in Europe, wrote about the New World, inspiring cartographers of the time to name the New Continent in his honour. You can reach Greve by foot or by bike. It is very steep, but don't be afraid as you'll be repayed by the amazing view on a strongly suggestive landscape.
Near Greve in Chianti you can find Ponzano in Chianti, where the sacred place of meat lovers is located: the Antica Macelleria Cecchini. Here, “patron” butcher Dario Cecchini is committed to his ancient job, constantly trying to improve his artistry to get the perfect cut for every piece of meat. Here you can buy pork, beef, lamb and other products as wine, oil and spiced herbs from Cecchini Farm, 3 km (1 1/2 miles) far from the butchery.
Antica Macelleria Cecchini
Via XX Luglio, 11 Panzano in Chianti
Tel. +39 (0)55 852020, Website
About 3 km (1 1/2 miles) to Greve rises the impressive Castle of Verazzano, where the big explorer Giovanni from Verazzano lived. Today, the castle overlooks an estate wider than 200 hectares where classics like Chianti, the Vin santo, grape spirit, honey, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are produced.
Here you can take four different types of guided tours, from the classic “Wine Tour”, including wine tasting, to the “Chianti Tradition”, including the taste of typical gastonomic specialties. It's a little more expensive but you can also enjoy the “Wine end Food Experience”, a four-course lunch served with the wines from the farm, or the “Executive Wine Tour”, with a private guide and transfers to and from Florence. Every visit offers the chance to visit the historic wine cellar and the gardens.
Reservations are recommended.