With a population close to 4 million, Tuscany is primarily known for its export of olives, grain and tobacco, with Carrara marble as a dominant industry as well. However, it’s the wineries of one particular area that have made it a household name: Chianti. Visiting this region, guests will enjoy all that the wine industry has to offer, from sightseeing vineyards in any of the 25 wine-producing regions, to touring wineries, to taking part in taste tests, to sampling the local offerings at the numerous cafes. Even tourists who are not actually fond of their own country’s domestic wines will have fun learning about the history and process of wine production, and just may discover a variety or brand that suits their taste! (The grapes from this region are responsible for several of the world’s finest red and white wines, such as the "Brolio Ricasoli" label. Once recognized by a short, fat bottle embedded in a straw basket, Chianti is now contained in more common bottles.)
If visitors to Italy are looking for unique activities on a day trip from Florence or Siena, Chianti’s scenery, entertaining local festivals and multitude of wine tours are a great choice! Guests will enjoy photo opportunities galore when surrounded by ridges, valleys, and hills. Nature buffs will be amazed by how the Tuscans have designed their farms and vineyards to not only be as productive environmentally, but aesthetically beautiful as well.
For an overnight get away or an extended stay, guests will be charmed at the accommodations in Chianti. Chain hotels are not prevalent in this area, but authentic Tuscan abodes offer every comfort expected. A traveler may rent a villa, apartment, or farmhouse, and it may be the original construction or a perfect restoration. (Because there are restrictions on new development and construction, old buildings are being restored to their original splendor and used as vacation homes and rental properties.) Lengths of stay, size of accommodation, amenities, and prices vary. With so many choices, it is not difficult to find accommodations to meet every need!
Just because one is removed from the usual urban commotion while in Chianti, there is no lack of quality in entertainment or dining opportunities. Dining in Chianti is as exciting as its numerous wine-tasting opportunities, and traditional, home cooked feasts are abundant in trattorias. Visitors can easily walk to numerous interesting locations, including forts, churches and monasteries. There are many trails for hikers to experience hilltop views, and touring historic architecture such as castles (replete with their own wineries) can be an extremely pleasant relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle of Italy’s major tourist destinations.