Dual Wed 11 October 2017

CHIANTI TOUR

What better way to visit one of the most fascinating parts of Tuscany than by motorcycle?
This is what we did! We started our tour from Impruneta a very good choice from all points of view. You can easily reach this location from the highway and you only need a few kilometers to plunge into the marvelous Tuscan landscape. In fact, one of the most famous roads of Italy’s central regions, SR 222 VIA CHIANTIGIANA, starts right at the highway exit. This extraordinary and fun paved way connects Florence to Siena passing through the true Chianti area, including the town of Greve in Chianti which we choose as our base for the tour.
Right from the start, small castles, ancient towns and low rolling hills characterize our trip, compelling an unprogrammed stop to visit the first winery to celebrate the beginning of the expedition in the best way … with a glass of good Chianti wine which can’t be turned down.
Once we reach the castle, the hospitality and the wonderful food happily end our first day. The next day, we decide to leave early to take the maximum advantage of the whole day. As soon as we leave the castle the road starts to climb with curves and reverse curves with no side view, only a blacktop immersed in green and dense vegetation that increases our pleasure of riding. Then, suddenly, the road stops climbing, the curves become gentler and, just like that … you are riding on a ribbon of asphalt perfectly laid on the rolling hills surrounded by breathtaking landscape. The effect on who sees this for the first time is always the same: to immediately close the throttle to start looking around.
The first 70 km go by fast, taking us to a small town full of history: Monteriggioni. A walk along the high walls and a coffee at the bar in the little main square are a must when one travels near this place.
We leave immediately after for San Gimignano, city of towers and a UNESCO Cultural and Natural World Heritage site. The road to get there becomes a bit more trafficked as soon as the skyline of the town dominates from the hill it rests on, showing off its beauty.

As soon as we park our bikes near one of the gateways, we understand the reason for the traffic (which is not like that of a big city or of Siena, but this is the middle of Chianti’s countryside …). A nice walk along the main street takes us directly to lunch. The delicious food and the warm welcome of our innkeepers keep our cheerfulness up. Later, full of energy, we walk to the famous Torre Grossa (trans. Big Tower) that dates back to 1311 and that, with its 54 meters of height, is still the town’s symbol. The 360° view from the top is unique. We are particularly grateful to San Gimignano’s city council who welcomed us and accompanied us for part of our visit, showing attention to a category which is sometimes mistreated.

We start to crave curves again so we decide to leave for Siena, name and place that need no presentation but which require a stop for an aperitif in Piazza del Campo - the main square of Siena - before heading back.

Our second day is finished but we already look forward to the next morning.

The third day is totally dedicated to the area most photographed and loved by movie stars: the Val d’Orcia (trans. Orcia Valley). Included in the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2004, Val d’Orciais a union of art and historical and landscaping culture. Montalcino, Pienza, Radicofani and San Quirico d’Orcia are only a few of the splendid towns within its territory, unique for its sceneries that immediately place it at the top of the list of the whole tour.

Unfortunately, the weather isn’t on our side raining cats and dogs for most of the morning. Wet but smiling we reach our destination, Pienza, in time for lunch. Perched on the top of a hill, Pienzaenjoys a strategic position dominating the Val d’Orcia an offering a breathtaking scenery. The low rolling hills and the landscape that surround it have drawn the attention of famous film directors and movie stars, amongst whom Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe in the famed The Gladiator.

Luckily, the bad weather we endured until lunch offers a truce, donating clear skies and perfectly dry roads. Along the way, to be traveled at low speed to fully enjoy the surroundings, every spot looks like the right one to take a picture.
Sadly, the time runs out and we are forced to head back with the desire to return to this wonderful land as soon as possible.
We decide to end this day with a dinner worthy of such majesty, eating, drinking, toasting and drinking again.
The fourth day, the day of our return trip, starts with a bit of nostalgia for the wonders we saw the previous days, but as soon as we start riding our motorbikes along the snaking curves, smiles appear on our faces and our excitement prevails.
The road leads us to the discovery of the Abbazia di San Galgano (trans. San Galgano’s Abbey), built between 1218 and 1288, one of the major tourist attraction in the area. Since it just opened when we arrive, we can savor the charm of the abbey undisturbed, a great way to end our tour wonderfully.

Text and pictures: Daniele Fontani D-Xperience
 

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