One of the most famous stretches of road through Italy is Highway 222. Photo: Shutterstock
One of the most famous stretches of road through Italy is Highway 222. Photo: Shutterstock

Food & Drink

Fine driving on Tuscany’s famous Highway 222

If it’s fine wine, stunning Tuscan vistas and rustic relaxation you’re after then this route’s hard to beat.

One of the most famous stretches of road through Italy, for wine lovers at least, is Highway 222. Popularly known as via Chiantigiana, or The Chianti Road, Highway 222 is the strip of road from Florence to Sienna that takes one through the Chianti Classico wine region of Tuscany. There are all sorts of wonderful discoveries to be made in the small villages that dot the countryside along the way.

Here are a few places to explore:

Radda in Chianti

Radda in Chianti is located on a hill, between the Arbia and Pesa valleys. A medieval town that dates back to 1002 Radda features narrow streets that meet in the main square by the Church of San Niccolò. There are a number of restaurants in town, and wine shops, as well as the possibility of enjoying a wine tasting, the Chianti Classico DOC, which is produced in the area.

Azienda Agricola Caparsa, Wine shop

Azienda Agricola Caparsa has a farm shop in Radda where you can buy organically produced Chianti Classico DOCG, table wines, Grappa, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Vin Santo, and sweet wines. They also offer “slow wine” farm tours at the shop but you’ll have to make a reservation!

Via Roma, 17, Radda in Chianti (Siena)

Gaiole in Chianti

Located roughly 65 kilometers from Florence in the heart of the Chianti wine region. Be sure to visit the Brolio and Metello castles during your trip.

Ultimo Mulino Hotel

A converted 15th century water mill, Ultimo Mulino is a four-star country hotel located in Gaiole. If you are looking for that legendary Tuscan farmhouse charm you won’t be disappointed: exposed beams and stone walls are only the beginning. All rooms are equipped with modern facilities and many have wonderful views of vineyards from their patios.

Località La Ripresa di Vistarenni, Gaiole in Chianti

Barone Ricasoli Winery, Falorni Butcher shop and Azienda Agricola Caparsa, Wine shop

Barone Ricasoli Winery

The oldest winery in Italy, Barone Ricasoli has a large wine shop and welcome center located in Brolio, close to Gaiole. In addition to Barone Ricasoli wines, visitors can buy other local products, including honey, jams, and DOP extra virgin oil, all of which are cultivated on the Brolio estate. Wine tastings can also be arranged, and there is a restaurant that serves local Tuscan specialities.

Barone Ricasoli Spa,loc,Madonna a Brolio, Gaiole di Chianti

Panzano in Chianti

Panzano is a hilltop town located halfway between Florence and Siena. The town has many grocery and supply shops, as well as hotels, restaurants, and an enoteca (or wine repository).

Greve in Chianti

Greve is just a few minutes drive from Panzano. It features a charming square, with shops and a hotel located along a covered pedestrian walkway.

Macelleria Falorni butcher shop

The Falorni butcher shop in Greve is a well-known local destination. In addition to selling an enormous variety of beef and game cuts, there is a small restaurant at the back where everything from soups to seasonal dishes featuring wild boar can be enjoyed at simple tables. The main attraction, however, other than the prime cuts of beef, hams and salami, is the automatic wine dispenser that allows customers to select and purchase glasses of red and white wines in different quantities, from 25-125 ml.

Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 71


Text: Tsemaye Opubor


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