Villages in Chianti

Radda in Chianti
This village (53Om, pop: 1,655) is situated on a hill covered with woods and extensive vineyards forming the watershed between the Pesa and Arbia valleys.

Formerly belonging to the Guidi family, it came under Florentine control in 1203. After being fortified in 1400 it was, from 1415 onwards, head of the League of Chianti, and it preserves the remains of its ancient walls.

The structure of the medieval village is still intact; it grew up elliptically around the church of San Nicolò, of 14th century origin and the Palazzo Pretorio. Built about 1415, its facade is adorned with the coats of arms of the podestà (chief magistrates), the latter is now the seat of the municipality.
 
Just outside the village, in the Vignale farm, are the headquarters of the Chianti Classico consortium (its symbol is the black-cockerel, the former emblem of the League of Chianti), and the Centro di Studi Chiantigiani (Centre for Chianti Studies), founded in 1984, with a small library and an archive devoted to the history of Chianti and its agriculture. The Montevertine farm, near the village, houses the small Museo del Chianti, with displays relating to the farming community.

Where is Radda in Chianti: it is located in the north of Siena province, in the border with the province of Florence and Arezzo. 

Distances: Siena 30 Km – Florence 50 Km – Pisa 110 Km – Arezzo 57 Km
Castellina in Chianti
The city’s origins go back to Etruscan times and came under Florentine control starting in the 12th century when it became an important outpost due to its strategic position between Florence and Siena. It was destroyed and rebuilt many times during the battles between the two cities and every time the town was reconstructed with bigger defensive walls. Legend has it that even Brunelleschi was asked to work on the project of new walls for the town.

Along the ancient walls an impressive underground tunnel used by the guards back then remains, now called Via della Volte which today is a fascinating tunnel with shops and restaurants. I suggest you walk down the tunnel during different times of the day so that you can admire the view of the surrounding Chianti countryside with various degrees of light from the small windows along the tunnel. The tunnel itself goes around the city and encloses the delightful city center, itself divided by its main street, Via Ferruccio. Here you’ll find many shops, workshops, restaurants and important palaces such as Palazzo Banciardi and Palazzo Squarcialupi, both belonging to local noble families. Inside Palazzo Squarcialupi the Enoteca Antiquaria is now housed, a wine shop for over a 100 years old which represents an important historical archive of wine and which has helped preserving the original characteristics of Chianti Classico wine itself.

The Church of San Salvatore deserves a visit. It was rebuilt in 1945 after the devastation of WWII but which still displays a valuable fresco by Lorenzo Bicci depicting the Virgin Mary with Child and a wooden statue from the Renaissance. A few steps away from the city center, theFortress with its tall tower offers a stunning panorama of the town and countryside. Inside the Fortress is the headquarters of the Municipality and the Archeological Museum of Chianti, displaying important archeological findings from the surroundings that testify to the ancient origins of the Chianti region.

San Miniato al Monte

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The beautiful landscape of San Miniato al Monte

According to tradition, the martyr St. Miniatus, who was suffered during the persecution of Decius in the 3rd century, was buried on the hill where the church bearing his name now stands. It was the idea of the bishop Hildrebrand to build the basilica, together with the adjoining Benedictine monastery, on the site where it was believed that the relics of the saint (today preserved in the crypt of the church) were found.

Work was begun in 1018 and was completed about 1207. The new church which was built on the site of an earlier church reflects the various stages of its construction in its different parts, from the crypt to the elaborate marble floor of the nave.

Continue reading this article in The Museums of Florence

 

Florence and Machiavelli: sympathy for the devil

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Machiavelli’s study, where he read, and prepared his famous manuscript

Article in The Daily  Telegraph, published in London

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A Literary Guide To Tuscany

The landscapes and people of Tuscany have been an inspiration for writers for centuries – perhaps it’s no coincidence that three of Italy’s greatest writers – Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio – were all Tuscan. Besides home-grown writers, Tuscany has provided an inexhaustible source of writing material for foreign writers as well, with the British driving the ranks. –

See the complete article in: ITALY MAGAZINE

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Newly Opened Torre Campatelli Offers In-Depth Look at History of San Gimignano

San Gimignano is no doubt one of Italy’s prettiest historic villages. Overlooking the Val d’Elsa from a hilltop in the Tuscan countryside, it has largely maintained the same structure and aspect it had in the Middle Ages, with its many towers forming an unmistakable skyline.

See more at: http://www.italymagazine.com

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Why You Should Give Yourself A Timeout

By: Silvia Mordini, Featured on Yoganonymous

A retreat is just that: A break from the daily grind in order to get clear on what you like about your life and what could be working better. It’s a safe space where you can take the time to step back and gain perspective to help you realize and recognize the things you’ve outgrown.

A yoga retreat is the perfect time in a beautiful place to carry out this mental detox. And there are so many different kinds of retreats. Some include activities and experiences beyond a yoga practice, such as life-coaching exercises where you’ll learn practical tools to apply to your life right away. Other retreats may include off the mat fun like surfing, kayaking, hiking, and more.

Just like we have to clean out our closets now and again—whether we want to or not—we need to take time to mentally declutter as well. It is important to devote time to decluttering. Clutter in the mind is stress. When we remove the clutter from our lives, we increase clarity regarding the life we are meant to live. The foundation of our life is based on the quality of the questions we ask ourselves.

Don’t wait—take a timeout for you.

Continue reading here on Yoganonymous and visit Alchemy Tours to see retreat offerings led by Silvia Mordini.

Art in Florence: Top Twenty Artworks

“As adamant fans of the art in Florence, it often breaks our hearts to hear that travelers to this fair city miss out on some of Florence’s renowned works. Of course there are many reasons to visit this multi-faceted town, but one of the main motivations has always been to see Florence’s breathtaking painting, sculpture, and architecture. According to UNESCO (although it may be a somewhat Western centric view), 60% of the world’s most important works of art are located in Italy and approximately half of these are in Florence. – ”

See more at Art in Florence by Select Study Abroad

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