Five Chianti Classics
We’ve picked some of our favourite sights and activities in the world-famous wine region that we call home. Our trail is a real mix, to suit all tastes, whether you try just one of our recommendations or tick off all five, you’ll be sure to enjoy memory-making experiences among these ancient vines.
Art and music at the Chianti Sculpture Park
A woodland gallery of sculptures and installations created by artists from around the world – we’re not sure which we like best at the Chianti Sculpture Park, the art or the natural setting. The exhibits are weird, wonderful and thought-provoking – among our favourites is The Labyrinth, a maze made from aquamarine glass bricks by UK artist Jeff Saward. This is also the location of La Fornace Art Gallery, a collection of more than 200 contemporary works by Asian, African, South American and European artists, housed in a former pottery. And if you’re around on a Tuesday in July or August, catch one of the open-air concerts in the marble and granite amphitheatre.
Walk, run, ride or cycle on the Dievole Natural Path
Byways once tramped by share-croppers, who toiled in the Chianti vineyards, have been given a new lease of life as a ‘Natural Path’. Step back in time along more than 27km of these ancient routes on the Dievole Estate, restored to provide a hilly playground among the vines and olive groves for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse-riders. The paths are clearly marked, with beautiful landmarks highlighted, such as an 18th-century stone aqueduct. Along the way, there are some glorious views, which will reward your efforts and get you reaching for your camera.
Star-gazing at Osservatorio Chianti
Reach for the stars at Chianti’s observatory. On Friday evenings, the research centre hosts special star-gazing sessions, with English-speaking astronomers on hand to help you explore the constellations through their telescopes. Children are welcome, too.
Fishing at Lake Quornia
Fall hook, line and sinker for a spot of fishing at Lake Quornia. This peaceful little lake can be found amid the vineyards between Castellina and Monteriggioni. Just follow the signs to Ristorante Vallechiara, where the owners hire all the equipment you’ll need to reel in the carp, sturgeon or trout that inhabit these waters. (At weekends, a man supplies kit on the lakeside.) Visit vallechiara.eu for further information.
Wine and art at Castello di Ama
Serious wine buffs shouldn’t miss a trip to one of Chianti’s premier wine-producing estates, Castello di Ama. You could spend a whole afternoon here visiting the vineyards and cellars and sipping wines – the Chianti Classico Vigneto La Casuccia and Vigneto Bellavista are world-renowned.
But don’t miss the extraordinary contemporary art collection that’s also on display, with works by such luminaries as Louise Bourgeois and Anish Kapoor.
To Tuscany has a fantastic range of villas in Chianti.