Chianti country with its castles and olive groves
Rolling hills dotted with olive trees, rows of cypresses and mediaeval villages perched on hilltops: these are some of the typical features of the Chianti landscape. Our luxury villa with pool is situated in Chianti, the hilly area located roughly between Siena, Florence and Arezzo, served by five rivers (the Pesa, the Greve, the Ombrone, the Arbia and the Staggia) that follow the meandering paths through the hills and whose highest summit, Monte San Michele, is no more than 900 metres.
A bustling region
In the Middle Ages this region was the scene of many battles that took place between the quarrelsome Tuscan cities that were in competition with each other; clashes that left behind a legacy of castles and small fortified villages, often built very close together as befits an area subject to constant conflict. These reminders of the past are little gems where the Middle Ages have remained crystallised, and one of the main reasons why the place holds so much fascination. There are many places to recommend for anyone who wants to see these treasures, but the ones absolutely not to be missed include: the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo in Passignano, a monastery founded in the tenth century that still contains within its walls the fortified village of Volpaia, a Florentine outpost during its long struggle against Siena, and the castle of Brolio; compact, imposing and encircled by towers.
And following the wars, oil and wine
Mediaeval fortifications and small villages are not the only feature unique to Chianti. The one defining feature in the collective imagination of this region and a key element in the Chianti landscape is in fact its plantations - and in particular its olives and vines. Most of these originate from the time when the conflicts that inflamed the region for so long came to an end and the villages were transformed into residences for aristocrats who transformed the surrounding land into their estates. The result is a geometric pattern of crops that counterbalance the irregularity in elevation, in a game of contrasts between man and nature, past and present, life and memory.
One name, one wine
And finally, since we're talking about this region, how can we fail to mention the wine of the same name - Chianti. Chianti is produced under different names, the most prestigious of which is Chianti classico also called Gallo Nero (black cockerel) because of the symbol used to represent it. Only wines historically produced in this region can be defined as Chianti.