One of the best ways to understand why a wine tastes the way it does is to visit the land. Embark on a journey to Chianti Classico, renowned for its wines, olive oils, picturesque landscapes, and rich cultural heritage.

Discover the enchanting Chianti Classico region, a paradise nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscany that is easily reachable by car from Florence, Siena, and even Rome.

This region, with its picturesque vineyards and rich cultural tapestry, offers a tranquil escape from the bustle of city life. Dive into the rustic charm of historic towns, cycle through scenic landscapes, and indulge in traditional Tuscan delights.

Nestled in the serene foothills of the Apennines, it's a must see for those exploring Italy's varied terrains. This guide will unlock the secrets of Chianti Classico, ensuring a truly authentic and memorable experience in this historic wine region.

Visit Chianti Classico’s diverse landscapes and experience its history. Photo by Tenute di Nozzole.

Getting To Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico is easily accessible yet feels worlds away from the hustle of city life. The closest cities are Florence and Siena, with the Strada Regionale 222 (SR 222), aka the Chiantigiana, connecting the two cities.

Florence is the most convenient starting point for most international travelers. You can embark on a scenic drive from Florence and reach the vineyards of Chianti Classico in under an hour.

Siena, a medieval gem, is on the doorstep of southern Chianti Classico and offers a different route through the picturesque Tuscan countryside.

For those coming from further away, Rome is a viable option. The Eternal City is about three hours drive by car to Chianti Classico, making it possible for a longer day trip or an ideal starting point for an extended Tuscan adventure.

Public transportation options, such as trains and buses, can get you to the main towns in Chianti Classico, but to fully explore the vineyards and the smaller, more secluded spots, a car is recommended.

Visiting Wineries in Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico is a wine lover's paradise, boasting over 275 wineries, each offering a unique glimpse into the region's winemaking tradition. A fantastic way to explore and experience the diversity of this area is by following the SR 222 (The Chiantigiana).

Running from Florence to Siena, you’ll cover most of the main towns - you can even do a loop in the south in order to visit Castelnuovo Berardenga, Gaiole, and Radda. This 125 mile (200 km) loop, starting and ending in Florence, weaves through the stunning landscapes of Chianti Classico, connecting the main towns and vineyards.

Along this scenic route, you’ll discover a variety of wineries, from historic estates to boutique producers, each showcasing their unique take on Sangiovese.

Enhance your journey with the Chianti Classico Card which offers over 100 unique experiences, including vineyard tastings, picnics, tours, and discounts on wine purchases, with access to exclusive events and transfer services in the area.

But if you can only visit for a short time, check out the Casa Chianti Classico, which offers guided wine tastings, a wine shop, courses, and more in an 18th-century convent in Radda.

There are many unique places to stay in Chianti Classico, many of which are in working wineries. Photo by: Tenute di Nozzole.

Staying in Chianti Classico

Many tourists opt to do a day trip from Florence; however, we’d recommend immersing yourself in the region and staying in the hillsides of Chianti Classico.

Greve is the largest town and is halfway between Florence and Siena and is a great place to base yourself, though Panzano, Gaiole, and Castellina are also fantastic villages in which to stay.

You can choose from cozy town hotels or unique vineyard stays for an authentic Tuscan experience. These vineyard accommodations offer a serene connection to the region's winemaking life.

Experience La Dolce Vita  by staying at a winery when you visit Chianti Classico. Photo by: Le Miccine.

Alternatively, for a different adventure, rent an RV to freely explore Chianti Classico's picturesque landscapes and hidden gems at your own pace. There are even estates which are RV friendly. Whether it's the comfort of a hotel or the freedom of an RV, the region caters to all styles of travel.

Cycling is a great way to experience Chianti Classico. Photo by Chris Barbalis.

The Great Outdoors of Chianti Classico

For the adventurous, Chianti Classico offers a unique experience on two wheels. Traverse the scenic Eroica trails, a network of cycling routes that weave through vineyards, olive groves, and medieval villages, offering both challenging and leisurely rides for all skill levels. And don’t miss the cycling events such as the Gran Fondo del Gallo Nero.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina is delicious with Chianti Classico wines and is a classic dish of the region. Photo by: Tuscany Now & More

A Culinary Journey: Food and Olive Oil

Tuscans eat a lot of beans and are often referred to as mangiafagioli (which means bean eaters)! The food of this region is based on cucina povera, which means food of the poor, and has given us some of the most humble yet delicious dishes you can find in Italy. Ribollita, Panzanella, wild boar ragù, and of course you’ll find the delicious Chianina beef, famously used to make Bistecca alla Fiorentina.

Many wineries also produce world-class Chianti Classico DOP olive oil in . Photo by Lucio Patone.

Outside of food and wine, you cannot forget the world-renowned Chianti Classico DOP olive oils, which have their own history, heritage, and protected designation of origin! Many wineries will produce both wine and olive oil, so be sure to sample both!

From cozy trattorias to bustling local markets, the flavors of Chianti Classico provide the perfect pairing for its world-class wines. No matter where you choose to eat, you’ll find amazing local produce from all over this diverse region.

Events in Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico is a dynamic region, bustling with events ranging from art installations and concerts to open-air wine tastings. To discover what's happening during your visit, check out this events calendar.

Useful Resources

Be sure to check out some of these useful resources to help map out your trip: