Before we came to Tuscany I had pictured it in my mind. The scene that would play over and over again is beautiful green rolling hills covered in vineyards, olive groves and centuries old farmhouses.
This is exactly what we found, and even more so in Chianti……
But getting here was a different story, using the motorhomes fail safe of Lidl’s was fine, releaving us of €75 in the process but that sees our fridge filled and the Gin is back down to sensible prices At €4.69 a bottle ….
How much do you trust your sat-nav?
I guess my answer would be NOT entirely, because she has led us down too many narrow streets or up no through roads in Greece for us to take her word as gospel.
We did not like the look of her suggested route to Greve in Chianti.
But with little choice on the map we set off, I guess that the less than 8meters long sign should been a clue, but we arrived at our destination with just a scrape down the bumper and given at one point the wing mirrors brushes the high stone walls on both sides that’s not too bad !
More hurt pride that anything else !
In reality it was the kind of journey on a great road, across beautifully varied landscapes in glorious weather that makes you say, oh boy !
We drove along narrow winding roads that wound their way through the hilly terrain passing farms, forests and little villages- just driving paradise!
Eventually the sat nav led us to the parking place in Greve in Chianti with its marked out motorhome bays it was just what was needed to see how much damaged I’d done – thankfully not too much, that a wash off wouldn’t fix….
Like most Tuscan towns, Greve in Chianti dates back to the middle ages, with it’s main settlement happening in the 13th and 14th centuries. From our parking place we walked down narrow cobblestone streets, surrounded by beautiful old buildings.
But leaving the motorhome aire, (N43.590190 E11.313780) which is located just off the main road, we had little to no idea of where to go, but as is usually the case, all roads seemed to lead to the main piazza, the so called heart of town.
The many little streets that we had woundered down had been quiet and nearly empty, but when we hit the piazza it was a hive of activity.
Full of locals and tourists a like, the triangular piazza was obviously where all of the action is and we joined the throngs !
You know you’re drinking authentic Chianti if your bottle has a black rooster on the label.
We were told the legend of the rooster derives from an ancient war between the Florentine and Siennese people. Both Florence and Sienna wanted to acquire the region of Chianti because of it’s fertile agricultural land, so they set a rooster loose from each city to see which would get there first.
Apparently the people from Sienna spoiled their white rooster, gave him tons of food, and fattened him up in preparation for the race, whereas the people from Florence stuck their black rooster in a cage without food to make him a little crazy.
The black rooster was crazed enough to make it to Chianti first and therefore it’s considered part of a greater Florentine region, and hence the black rooster label!
Ok these days it’s a touirst attraction in its own right part butcher shop, part bistro, it houses a cheese and wine cellar and has an incredible selection of the salamis and hams for which the butcher shop is famous.
A chopping block that was in use from 1820 sits in pride of place outside the door . The interior is filled with tools of the butchering trade, a stuffed wild boar, old copper scales, black & white photos of the family
In 1729 Gio Batta founded the Macelleria Falorni Butchers in Greve Italy.
Then in 1840 the word Antica which means ancient was added and still hangs today.
Through the generations the techniques, recipes and “secrets” to the incredibly high quality products that they produce have been passed down from father to son.
Today it is being run by the 8th generation grandsons Lorenzo and Stefano Falorni.
Their attention to quality begins with using the highest quality local certified meats, Chianina for Beef and Cinta Senese for Pork and wild boars that come from the woods of the Chianti region. Spices such as fennel, laurel, juniper, garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary and more are used and all come from the local region. With this plethora of local ingredients it helped to create the Salumi – Salted meats, ham, salami prosciutto and more that are are characterized by the unique smell known only to fine Italian products.
The town plays host to a long-running Saturday morning market.
Filling Piazza Matteotti, with such beautiful seasonal produce like the porchi mushroom that this region is famed for it also gave us the opportunity to mingle with the locals and browse the many market stalls that surround a permanent monument to the navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano, whose family estate is nearby.
Plus the Several small artisanal shops are also tucked under the pretty porticoes that ring the piazza. Stopping for a coffee to enjoy the atmosphere.
Being we were now here on a Saturday night and having not paid to park , we headed off into town in search of some Pizza ( well we are in Italy, you know)
A perfect way to round off a great couple of days in a stunningly beautiful part of the world
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