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Why so many negative comments about Chianti Region?

Why so many negative comments about Chianti Region?

Old Apr 21st, 2002, 10:12 AM
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Why so many negative comments about Chianti Region?

My wife and I had thought we might stay in Chianti region, but are hesitant due to alot of negative posts about Chianti - we've heard that Greve is "industrial", that the countryside is not pretty, and that the area south of Chianti is much better.

All that we've read in guidebooks says Chianti is "quintessential Tuscany - Olive tree, Vineyard, rolling hills - all that you think of when you think of Tuscany.

We've learned to not trust entirely the guidebooks, so would like some particular comments about the bad (and good) of Castellina, Greve and Radda.

We had looked at Villa Vignamaggio, Fattoria Vignale, Borgo Pretal, and a couple of other places, but are hesitant now to stay in this area.

Old Apr 21st, 2002, 12:41 PM
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Alan, It is all relative. You can stay in Radda of Castellina and have a great time. But, after many trips to central Italy, I find the region to be more commercial than some other parts of Tuscany. And, there are better locations for driving access to other Tuscany venues. I suggest you look at staying south of Siena for the scenes you see in the coffee table photo books. Or, stay between Siena and San Gimignano for the best driving routes to most of Tuscany. Like many regions that we dream about, by the time we get there we are already 20 years late.
The heart of Chianti is wondeful. The Val d' Orcia is better. A good compromise location is my favorite hotel in Tuscany--the Locanda della Amorosa in Sinalunga. Good luck !
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 12:45 PM
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My friends and I stayed in a villa in Vagliagli, outside of Castelina in Chianti, and we loved it. We thought the area was beautiful, and I agree, stay somewhere near Sienna, it was an amazing city, one worth spending time in. If you can go during the Palio, a horserace dating back hundreds of years, you're in for something special. Palio is in July and August.
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 12:51 PM
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Hi Alan!

We stayed just north of Siena, in a tiny village south of Gaiole in Chianti. Chianti is almost mountainous compared to further west & south in Tuscany. Lots of tall trees (in the areas not under cultivation), windy roads, very green. You don't quite have the expansive views that are seen in the coffee table books.

As we drove to San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena, Montepulciano, Pienza & on south to Orvieto - then you see the rolling green hills of wheat, the dirt roads lined with cypresses.

We absolutely loved where we stayed. Our little village was on a hill top, surrounded by olive groves & vineyards. And, close to lots of great wineries! From what we saw of Greve, Castelina, & Radda, we would not have wanted to stay right in those towns.

That said, if you are staying at any of the properties you named, I think you will be happy. The Chianti towns are small & you will be outside of them anyway.

Buon viaggio!
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 02:04 PM
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Alan. You will read that Chianti is becoming overwhelmed with tourists. I suppose this is true. It does drive the prices up. But there has to be a reason why people return to the area again and again.
I think that Bob is very fortunate that he has had the opportunity to return to central Tuscany many times. But for many of us, we may be only taking our first or second or so tour of this area.
I will soon be taking my second vacation in Italy. We are staying in Castellina. I have seen many of the hill towns in this area, but will return again. I think it will take many more times before I am ready to write off any but Southern Tuscany.
Now, besides the cental area, we do plan to venture further south. And it is because of people like Bob and Dean that I really am looking forward to exploring more.
But, I wouldn't write off any of Tuscany unless I had been there many, many more times. And there are still lots of cities that have charm and are worth visiting.
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 04:37 PM
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I am a big fan of Castellina. Even in July it is not too overrun with tourists, and in October when we have mostly been there it is a pretty sleepy place. I strongly reccomend the place. We base there because of its central location as well as being home to our friend's winery. We usually spend a day or two in the south of Toscana in Montalcino and the area. We usually spend a day or two in the Voltera and San Gim area. And we usually spend a day or two going into Florence. We have only driven thru the area around the 429 between Poggibonsi and Pisa and it seems very nice. We are planning to see several small towns in this area on our next trip-- Certaldo Alto is on ourr list. We have also not explored Colle Val d'Elsa.

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