Greve in Chianti

May 4, 2018  |  Chianti Holidays, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on Greve in Chianti

Greve in Chianti, in the province of Florence, is the small town that opens the door to this beautiful region that is Chianti. Located at the crossroads of Via Chiantigiana between Florence and Siena and the road to the Val d’Arno, it was in the Middle Ages an active exchange center.

It has kept charm and traditions, and is a member of the “cittaslow” network of cities where living is good! Panzano in Chianti, in the heart of the vineyards that produce the famous “Chianti Classico” is part of the municipality of Greve.

Greve in Chianti is still a very active city today with its typical market held every Saturday: fruits and vegetables, cheeses, but also clothes, table linen, and many other products! This is where locals meet and share the latest news! The square is triangular, slightly in descent. It is bordered on the sides by arches to protect from the sun, with pretty craft shops, great cold cuts and grocery stores with the famous Tuscan hams and local cheeses, and of course some restaurants! At the top of the square is the Santa Croce church, built in the 19th century on the site of an old oratory, but which has retained some beautiful 15th century paintings. At the bottom of the square, in the widest part, a contemporary statue has been installed in front of the town hall. In the middle of the square, stands the statue of Giovanni Verrazzano, a navigator born in Greve in Chianti in 1485, the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada, and to enter the Hudson Bay. The bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York is named after him.

Chianti Classico vineyards Panzano in Chianti/Greve In Chianti

Greve in Chianti is one of the cities that have joined the “cittaslow” movement, a network of cities that respect tradition, authenticity of products and good food … It is the host of many festivals and events and in particular in April a large flea market , in May the festival of flowers, in July the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program, in September the Wine Festival … Greve in Chianti is one of the 9 municipalities on which the “Chianti Classico” which can carry the famous logo of the “Black Rooster” is produced.

And all around Greve in Chianti, you find unique landscapes, with magnificent views on the Tuscan hills, on vineyards, and on medieval hamlets
The small village of Panzano in Chianti is located on the territory of the municipality of Greve, where Villa le Barone, is located. Life is good at Villa le Barone, in the Chianti hills, and we serve traditional “slow food”!

Panzano in Chianti, a charming medieval Tuscan village

March 31, 2018  |  Chianti Holidays, Culture and Art, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on Panzano in Chianti, a charming medieval Tuscan village

Panzano in Chianti: San Leolino church viewed from Villa le Barone

Panzano in Chianti, a charming Tuscan medieval village located exactly between Florence and Siena, must be discovered, with its churches, its vineyards and cellars, its market, its typical shops, its festivals, its craftsmen, its protected environment and the beauty of its landscapes. Panzano is located in the heart of the “Chianti Classico”, with famous producers of these wines known around the world.

Coming from Florence, after crossing Greve in Chianti, the road to Panzano rises slowly in the countryside, offering beautiful perspectives on the Chianti hills, olive groves and vineyards … and then it’s the arrival on the main square, Piazza Bucciarelli, with its shops, restaurants, bar, florist, fountain … Every Sunday the market takes place on this square. This is where one can find fruits and vegetables, cheeses, roast chicken, kitchenware… Every first Sunday of the month, the market (then called “aprilante”) is enriched by the presence of artisans who offer their products. The small street, to the right of the square, lined with old houses, rises towards the center of Panzano, the castle and towards the church of Santa Maria Assunta, completely rebuilt in the 19th century on the site of the old medieval church. On the left of the square, a small street, with the indication Barone, rises slowly, bordered on the left by the houses painted in white and red stripes where the famous butcher Dario Cecchini operates. You can enter the butcher shop, drink a glass of Chianti and take part in the friendly atmosphere of the shop.

Continuing along this street, you can see Mr Papini’s shop on the right, where you will find seeds, bedding plants, fertilizers … and everything for the garden. The cave of Ali Baba! Continue straight, turn right towards Hotel Villa le Barone at one kilometer. You can enter and discover the beautiful gardens! Continue a little further, you find an oratory and following the dirt road on the right, the beautiful Romanesque church Pieve di San Leolino, to which a porch was added in the 16th century. Do not miss the magnificent tabernacles of Andrea Della Robbia, and the paintings of the 16th century. Feel also free to push the door on the right after the baptismal font leading to the adjacent small cloister. What a charm! If you go back on the SS 222 road and continue towards Siena, on the right you will find the indication of the Oratory of Sant’ Eufrosino, with the spring near which the Saint who evangelized the Chianti lived.

Panzano in Chianti: Dario Cecchini’s butcher shop

Festivals and events are numerous in Panzano in Chianti, and in particular the feast of the “Buona stagione” on April 25, that of the “Colombina” at Easter, the wine festival “Vino al Vino” in September…. Moreover, Panzano is located in the heart of the “Chianti Classico” region, where wines known worldwide are produced. You can visit many cellars and enjoy delicious wine tastings: Le Fonti, Molino di Grace, Fontodi and Castello di Rampolla … to name only a few.

One cannot be tired of admiring the protected environment and the wonderful landscapes that surround this charming typical medieval Tuscan village, Panzano in Chianti.

A short Easter break in Chianti

February 2, 2018  |  Chianti Holidays, Special Offers, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on A short Easter break in Chianti

Easter in Villa le Barone’s gardens Chianti Toscane

Why not take a short break to spend Easter in Chianti and discover some of the many Tuscan traditions to celebrate this important moment of the year: the special menu, the chocolate eggs, the “Colombina”, a custom that dates back to the time of the Crusades? You can enjoy all this while staying at Villa le Barone, and furthermore on Easter Monday you can stroll through the flea market taking place in Greve in Chianti.

At Easter you will savor in our restaurant the typical traditional dishes, in particular the leg of lamb, and for dessert “la Colomba”, a molded cake in the shape of a dove. In general, like the Christmas “Panettone”, the dough of the Easter dove is made of flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and butter, to which can be added candied fruit. The cake is usually sprinkled with almonds and pearl sugar. Delicious!
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Of course, on Easter day, an egg hunt in the gardens of Villa le Barone is organized for the youngest … and on each table, at breakfast, our guests find a beautiful chocolate egg that they can enjoy when they wish.

Chocolate eggs at Easter in Villa le Barone’s gardens Chianti

And there is also the famous custom of the “Colombina” which is held in many Tuscan cities: Florence of course, but also Greve in Chianti, and Panzano: a terracotta dove is set on fire, it goes down a cable, explode, and must go back all along the cable: it will bring good luck to the city! All the local population is present to witness the event!

Finally, on Easter Monday, there is a flea market on Greve in Chianti’s triangular square and, under its arches or around Verrazzano’s statue, you will be able, perhaps, to find a treasure: painting, sculpture, lace, porcelain, or other piece of art!
After a grey winter, feel the spring’s sun and discover Tuscan Easter traditions in a charm boutique hotel in Chianti!

Quality has a price! Services have a price!

January 13, 2018  |  Chianti Holidays, Hotel, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on Quality has a price! Services have a price!

Chianti Villa le Barone An infinity heated pool with a view

Whenever we purchase a good or a service we all have an eye on the sales price. Normal! Hotel reservations are no exception to this, but we believe that sometimes things are getting out of hand!

We are seeing more and more often hotel offers from Online Tourism Agencies (OTA’s) highlighting just the price per day or the discount rate rather than comfort, amenities, location, services rendered, food quality, … to the point that we are asking ourselves: are potential Guests buying price or are they buying what makes for a successful holiday, that is quality and services?

At Villa le Barone we have chosen a conservatively clear view: do not make compromises with “quality, beauty and comfort” and establish prices which will enable us to carry on investing for continued “quality, beauty and comfort” over the years! Do we need a special communication strategy? Do we need branding effort? Do we need strategic planning? Should we go OTA crazy? … what we need, really, is to continue making our Guests happy by welcoming them in a warm, authentic Tuscan atmosphere, offering them modern comfort in a beauteous internal and external setting and surrounding them with an attentive, not over present service.

Villa le Barone Chianti an historic Villa

Should we remind that all rooms are different, with period furniture and fresh fabrics from renowned manufacturers and that they are equipped with mini bar, air conditioning, Wi Fi and internet connection, safe, SAT TV (on free of charge request)?

Should we repeat that we are surrounded by several acres of land and rose and olive tree planted gardens where a heated, salt water, infinity pool in travertine marble as well as a smaller one to sunbathe in are a continuous temptation?

Tennis court, ping pong table, fitness centre and fitness trail are there just in case you might want to work up a very special appetite for evening dinner where three courses of different Tuscan specialties, often cooked with our own staple products, are served every night together with local Chianti wines.

Need a soft drink while at the pool? Need a whiskey before dinner? Need a Grappa after dinner? … two honor bars make you feel really at home while you pour yourself what makes you happy.

Would you really rather have a 47.79$ discount … or all of the above packaged with the friendly smile of the ladies at the Reception?
It’s for you to choose!

Chianti and Tuscany out of the beaten track, by car, cycling or hiking

January 5, 2018  |  Activities, Chianti Holidays  |  Comments Off on Chianti and Tuscany out of the beaten track, by car, cycling or hiking

Landscape between Panzano in Chianti and Villa le Barone

Do you wish to discover Chianti and Tuscany out of the beaten track? Do you wish to discover it touring with your car, cycling, or hiking? As you prefer! Villa le Barone has prepared for you six car itineraries that will take you on small roads to visit medieval and Renaissance villages, castles, churches and abbeys, and will offer to you breathtaking views on the Tuscan landscapes.

We have also prepared a number of cycling routes descriptions, and we can loan 2 mountain bikes free of charge. But you might opt to rent electric bikes, more comfortable for the hilly Chianti roads! Do you prefer hiking? Then you will also find 8 detailed itineraries of different length. We also suggest typical trattorias to stop for lunch, or we can prepare a picnic that you can enjoy in front of a magnificent panorama!

Let me describe the 7 kilometers hiking itinerary we have prepared that will bring you to a small hermitage, “San Pietro alle Stinche”. You follow the road towards the center of Panzano in Chianti, with beautiful views on olive trees and vineyards. At the intersection at 1 km, you turn right, on the dirt road indicated “Volpaia”, “San Pietro alle Stinche” . You continue on this dirt road for 1km 50, on the left you have a cypress raw, and on the right superb views on

the Chianti hills and vineyards. Along the road admire a small tabernacle as you find so many in Tuscany! Then you arrive at a cross roads with a viewpoint. On the left, you can see Greve in Chianti. If you wish to rest, there is a picnic table. Then take the road on the right towards “San Pietro alle Stinche”, and follow the road which goes slightly down for about 1km ( with views on Villa le Barone ), and finally in the forest.

Tuscany Chianti landscape

Enjoy the road sign on the left representing a happy monk! This road leads you to the Hermitage “Eremo di San Pietro alle Stinche” that you discover on the right, below, hidden in the greenery, next to a small brook (there is a small parking lot). Take the small path that leads to the entrance of the 14th century church, and admire the little fountain on the right. This is a place where you feel peace and sacredness permeating every moment. The Hermitage, founded by the charismatic figure of Father Giovanni Vannucci (1913-1984), theologian and writer, is a place of prayer, ecumenical dialogue and listening. You can push the door next to the church. It is always opened. You will be welcomed in the beautiful common room by one of the three monks who are continuing life as Father Vanucci had defined it, dedicated to prayer, meditation, work, dialogue with other religions. From this beautiful common room, you can go inside the small church, a place where you can recollect. Afterwards, you can continue on the same path where you can see some of the sculptures that Dario Cecchini has put on the way to his home. In any case you have you go back through the same road. Returning offers other beautiful viewpoints! Back in Villa le Barone, it is time to go to the infinity heated pool, and to have a nice drink!

Tuscany is not only Florence, Siena and San Gimignano, and the itineraries we provide to our guests, be it by car or by bike or hiking, will allow them to discover small Romanesque churches, ancient hamlets and medieval castles, and to soak in the wonderful Chianti scenery.