The word Chianti derives from Clante, a typical Etruscan name. In fact, remains of Etruscans tombs have proved
the civilization developed in this very area in the 7th century, thanks above all to the great number of
streets that connected it to other places in Central Italy. In the following period, the area was inhabited by
the Ancient Romans, who preferred to live in the countryside and rely on agriculture. From this moment
onwards, farmhouses became the new typical buildings and narrow streets replaced the larger ones for a
matter of practicality. So, in 150 AD the Roman emperor Cassius Longuius ordered the construction of the Via Cassia, a road
which connects Etruria to Rome. The emperor Hadrian, in 123 AD, ordered to add a street to link Siena and Florence; it is still used to reach the Chianti Region as well as to avoid the clearway. In the 8th century the Lombards started
creating farms and sale, stockrooms where landowners kept yields and tool. Moreover, they started erecting castles
and strongholds to defend themselves from further French attacks. But finally the French succeeded in taking control
over the Chianti and many French families moved to this area. In the 10th century, the Church decided to divide
Tuscany into parishes, giving birth to several parish churches and chapels. Churches that were able to baptize
babies would also have administrative function, for example they kept registers of births and deaths; this was
obviously crucial to people living in the countryside. As the number of people grew, agriculture and manufacturing
began picking up, so that farmers and artisans started to gather and move to the former courts (turned into
fortresses). The main battles were obviously the ones between Siena and Florence, both willing to grab the Chianti
territory. For this reason, between 1100 and 1200, endless conflicts took place all over the region and new
boundaries,castles and churches sprang up. Finally, a peace deal was closed in Poggibonsi in 1203, when a treaty
between Siena and Florence was signed in the presence of the Poggibonsese podestà as a special eye-witness.
In 1306 several communes and parish
churches formed the Chianti League (Lega del Chianti), a defensive alliance concerning 72 parishes such
as Panzano, Spaltenna, San Polo in Rosso, Santa Maria Novella and San Leonino (roughly
the territorie that today fall under Radda,
Castellina and Gaiole in Chianti). In 1774, thanks to the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, they all became
free cities. The symbol of the Chianti League was a black rooster on a red and gold background. The earliest seat of the League was Castellina in Chianti, later they moved to Radda. Anyway, after the conflicts
the area appeared nearly uninhabited and decayed to the point that Leopoldo, after visiting some
cellars, wrote very bad reviews. Even if the Chianti Region did not profit from the resurrection period as
much as Florence, improvements were delivered in 1850, when Bettino Ricasoli pushed for an
agricultural development. In his Brolio Castle estate (Castello di Brolio), he
invented and testedfor the first time the crop rotation technique. He started to use
new tools as spades, but also fertilizers that allowed to obtain better products. The new techniques he used
were excellent to produce different varieties of grapes. We owe the FORMULA DEL CHIANTI CLASSICO
to Ricasoli, since he was the firs to discover that amix of different grapes (majority of
Sangiovese) produces an excellent product, the famous Chianti Classico wine.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


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  • Karen & Jhon from Boston

    E-mail dated back Septmber 2019
    Hi Sylvia - its' hard to believe but in a few weeks it will be a year since our wonderful trip to Tuscany and our three days of touring with you. We've told many, many people about our three days touring with you in Tuscany! We love to tell the story of the guy in the

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  • Judith Wolfe on Behalf of Linda Wolfe October 2018

    Dear Silvia,My customers have returned from their long extended trip to Italy. San Gimignano was their 1st stop.They said the tour you arranged was wonderful and the guide made it especially good, saying that he is one of the best they ever had.They also really enjoyed the lunch stop and view.Thank you... Read more
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    Grazie ancora per il grande tour di Siena e San Gimignano - io e mia moglie e amici aveva un grande momento e che era esattamente quello che speravamo! La cantina è stata una scelta eccellente, come pure! Abbiamo lasciato ieri (1 febbraio) e ha fatto arrivare a casa in modo sicuro, nonostante ... Read more
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    We had such a great time with you, Silvia.  The tip could never be enough to show our appreciation for your kindness and help.  ... Read more
  • The British Institute of Florence

    Gentile Silvia,  La volevo ringraziare per la sua disponibilità riguardo la gita di sabato.  Le signore le hanno fatto tutte molti complimenti per la sua guida!
    Grazie e a presto,
    Cordiali saluti,
    Liz Read more
  • Mrs Elizabeth ( wedding Planner ) Original Tuscan Wedding

    Ciao Silvia,
    Ecco i complimenti dalle Sposi del 16 Ottobre!!
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