Exploring the Tuscan Town of Greve in Chianti

Piazza Giacomo Matteotti Credit: Keith Palmer

Piazza Giacomo Matteotti Credit: Keith Palmer

A Quaint Market Town Set Amongst the Vineyards in the Val de Greve

Named after the river than runs through it, Greve in Chianti enjoys a privileged position in one of the most important wine districts in Italy. At the end of the long stretch of winding roads that leads to the Vale di Greve and its nearby town, visitors will not be disappointed.

There is the Franciscan monastery in the old city and the unusual triangular shaped main piazza. Under the porticoes, a series of pasticcerias, cafes, bakeries and butchers selling local specialities, such as cingiale (wild boar) and game, occupy the ground floor shops. In fact, ‘Macelleria Falorni’ on the Piazza Giacomo Matteotti is one of oldest butcher shops in Italy. And, like many other towns in Tuscany, a handful of souvenir shops indicate that Greve in Chianti has not escaped the notice of tourists either.

Numerous restaurants occupy the upper floors of the attractive buildings surrounding the main piazza. It is usual for diners to watch the world go by in this peaceful town from above. It is a particularly good spot on market day; it is possible to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the action without being a part of it. Greve in Chianti is also a popular market town with stalls selling various goods, from beautiful hand-carved crafts and hosiery to local cheeses, olive oil, wine and homemade jams.

Statue in the Main Piazza Credit: Keith Palmer

Statue in the Main Piazza Credit: Keith Palmer

Within the main piazza, there is the Chiesa Santa Croce. The 14th century church was rebuilt after it burnt down with the rest of the town three centuries previously. Greve in Chianti is also the birthplace of the founderer of New York harbour. A large, bronze statue of Giovanni di Verrazzano can be found in the main square in memory of him. There is also a museum. The Museo di Arte Sacra, located where the former convent of San Francesco once sat, now contains various interesting sculptures and paintings.

Nearby, the Castello Verrazzano enjoys the views from 348m high and it is still possible to visit the 13th century remains of the original building, from which the manor tower has remarkably survived.

Local Tuscan Food and Wine

One of the biggest and most important wine areas in Italy, Chianti actually has much more to offer; Tuscan olive oil, white and black truffles. Most of the restaurants serve local specialities; wild boar, rabbit, pigeon and venison. If only passing, save some time to enjoy the views from one of the many terraces in the main square with a glass of Chianti accompanied with the local Pecorino Toscano cheese.

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