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Florence to Chianti: A Tuscany Day Trip from Florence

For those familiar with Italian reds, Chianti likely needs no introduction. The rich red wine is synonymous with the rolling hills, endless vineyards, countless castles, and the picturesque nature of the Tuscan countryside. And if you’re staying in Firenze, then getting from Florence to Chianti couldn’t be easier! Here’s an easy Tuscany day trip from Florence.

Florence to Chianti: A Tuscany Day Trip from Florence. A complete guide to visiting the Chianti region; wine varieties, villages to visit, and how to get there! Tuscany, Italy

Your ultimate and complete guide to visiting the Chianti Region in Tuscany (Toscana), Italy. How to make an easy day trip to the region from Florence, best wine tasting tours, and the prettiest towns in Chianti.

Introducing Chianti: The Italian Region & Chianti Classico Wine

First things first: What is Chianti? Well, located in the Italian region of Tuscany, the Chianti region is world-famous and can be found roughly between Florence and Siena. The dry wine from the region is also called Chianti’. The oldest part of the wine-growing area is Chianti Classico and it was this district which was originally dictated by Cosimo III de’ Medici.

To ensure that you’ve got a bottle of this vino, make sure that is stamped with the iconic black rooster symbol. Inevitably, as wine production from the Tuscany region increased, so did the Chianti growing area. And so, in 1932, the ancient wine-growing region was redistributed into seven distinct sub-zones.

wine tasting glass house restaurant life aboard the ventura p and o cruises

Chianti Colli Senesi (Montepulciano and Montalcino), Chianti Colline Pisani (The hills of Pisa), Chianti Colli Aretini (The hills of Arezzo), Chianti Rufina (East of Florence), Chianti Montalbano (West of Florence) and Chianti Montespertoli, Chianti Colli Fiorentini (Hills of Florence). 

In order to be considered a Chianti, each wine must contain at least 70% Sangiovese grape. The wine is rich in flavour and is best tasted and paired together with food. However, nothing beats sampling wine straight from the vineyard, in the very location where it was likely produced.

Florence to Chianti: A Tuscany Day Trip from Florence

Top towns and villages to visit in Chianti

While you’ll certainly want to explore the vineyards of the region, it’s worth noting that there are also plenty of towns worth exploring when it comes to Chianti. These Tuscany towns and villages often offer plenty of little museums, foodie experiences, and forgotten churches which are well worth a visit in of themselves.

Greve in Chianti

As one of the largest towns in Chianti, this lively metropolis is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to Chianti’. As such, there’s no shortage of things to see and do, even if you’re not a fan of red wine! Highlights of Greve include its strangely shaped piazza and several beautiful castles.

Castellina in Chianti

Beautiful and off the beaten path, this hidden gem of Tuscany boasts little by way of attractions. Instead, you visit Castellina in Chianti for the charm of the place, and of course, to sample the rich reds which are produced in the surrounding hillside. Close by, there’s also a small archaeological museum which is well worth a visit, as well as a fortress dating back to the Middle Ages.

Radda in Chianti

Often called ‘Ratti’ in German, the history of Radda dates back some four thousand years. Today, the picturesque village is home to the ruins of its historic town walls, plenty of medieval buildings, and a friendly vibe.

How far is Tuscany from Florence? How to travel from Florence to Chianti

The distance from Florence to the Chianti area is just 35 km. Since Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region (Toscana in Italian), the Chianti region couldn’t be closer to Florence and a visit can easily be incorporated into a two week Italy itinerary.

As such, there are several ways in which to explore and experience Chianti as a day trip from Florence. Bus, train, and car are all possible modes of transport. Should you opt to take the train, you should know that you won’t get the fully immersive experience of Chianti in the same way in which you would if you drove or took the bus.

wine tasting in chianti Italy

This is because train stops are few and far between in many parts of Chianti, which are high up on the hillside and far from any train tracks.

In choosing to travel by rail, you’ll simply be able to admire the Tuscan countryside (and vineyards) from the train window as opposed to being able to taste the many wines produced in the vineyards of the region or see the grape-growing vines up close.

Florence to Chianti: A Tuscany Day Trip from Florence. A complete guide to visiting the Chianti region; wine varieties, villages to visit, and how to get there! Tuscany, Italy

The most convenient way to explore Toscana is either to rent a car (which will give you a lot of freedom, though you will have to have a designated driver who will miss out on wine tastings) or simply to take the bus (or, most conveniently of all, to book a tour- but more on that later!). Check here for the best car rental prices. 

Before deciding which travel option from Florence to Chianti will be best suited to your travel needs, you should now that buses don’t tend to run past early evening, may run at inconvenient times, or won’t go to specific destinations you may want to venture to.

There are also fewer buses at the weekend. When it comes to taking the bus, you can take the SITA bus from Florence to Greve. More information can be found here. On the other hand, drawbacks of renting a car are traffic in Florence, as well as confusing roads. If you’re from a country which drives on the left-hand side of the road, such as the UK or Australia, then driving can also be confusing.

All said and done, the benefits of having a car are many: being able to reach ‘off the beaten path’ Chianti vineyards, the option to travel what you want, when you want, and the opportunity to stay in beautiful properties across Chianti.

Florence to Chianti: A Tuscany Day Trip from Florence. A complete guide to visiting the Chianti region; wine varieties, villages to visit, and how to get there! Tuscany, Italy

Chianti Wine tasting & Tuscany Wine Tours

Of course, if you don’t want to rent a car, then there’s also the possibility of partaking in a day trip wine tasting tour of Chianti. On my first venture to the Chianti region several years ago, this is precisely what I did and it certainly took away the stress of having to plan everything for myself!

Tuscany Wine Tour from Florence

This well-reviewed one day trip has been created for travellers between 18-35. Included in the day trip are two wine tastings, return transport from Florence, balsamic and extra virgin olive oil tastings, and an English-speaking local guide. Check here for prices and availability.

San Gimignano, Siena, Chianti Guided Tour from Florence

Created for those who wish to experience both the villages of Tuscany, as well as the wine region, this day trip from Firenze includes lunch, transport from Florence, wine tastings, and a chance to explore the Monteriggioni fortress. Check here for prices and availability.

Tuscan 1 Day: Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Chianti

If history is your true passion, then this one-day itinerary is made for you. Comprising of a visit to three medieval towns, lunch, return transportation from Florence, and several free guided tours, experience the best of Toscana in one day! Check here for prices and availability.

Castle and Chianti Wine Tour – from Tuesdays to Sundays

For those who are in search of a day tour from Florence (i.e. Firenze) where history meets culture meets wine, this is the day trip for you. This tour includes wine tasting two local Chianti wines in the grounds of a medieval castle, as well as transportation to and from Florence. Check here for prices and availability.

Chianti at Sunset: Small Group Excursion

If you’re in search of an oh-so-romantic experience during your time in Tuscany, then this small-group excursion from Florence is the one to book. Included in the tour is transport to-and-from Chianti, as well as the chance to visit a family wine growing-estate and cellars. Check here for prices and availability.

Chianti Italy wine tasting/ Florence to Chianti: A Tuscany Day Trip from Florence

Chianti Italy guide: How to visit Chianti as a day trip frolm Florence Italy

Florence to Chianti: A Tuscany Day Trip from Florence. A complete guide to visiting the Chianti region; wine varieties, villages to visit, and how to get there! Tuscany, Italy

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Saturday 12th of October 2019

Good morning. Sorry but you're wrong. The real Chianti is the one between the cities of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole. Unfortunately many call "Chianti" the Tuscan countryside just outside the city of Florence, but it is a mistake. The real Chianti is a small area near Siena. Thanks.


Thursday 10th of October 2019

Good morning. I read your post about the «Chianti region». Sorry, but what you write is not correct. The Chianti area is ONLY between the cities of Radda, Castellina and Gaiole. it's just a small triangle of land. Perhaps - mistakenly - many call Chianti the simple Tuscan countryside south of Florence. The real historic Chianti are the hills near Siena.Everyone calls «Chianti» the Tuscan countryside for wine but it's wrong. Thank you.

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