5 best restaurants in Chianti according to TripAdvisor

If you are heading the Chianti region in Tuscany, you might want to check what the best places to eat are. Here a list of the beat eatires in the area according to Tripadvisor

Vegetarians, please don't look
Have a bistecca alla fiorentina in Chianti

1. Il Ristoro Di Lamole

This is a beautiful little restaurant situated in the Chianti hills with the most gorgeous views. It has earned the highest rating in Trip Advisor for restaurants in this area due to its high quality food and beautiful setting. The food is quite simple as far as Italian cuisine food goes but it’s really delicious and this place is definitely worth a visit during your time in the village of Lamole. It’s a fantastic restaurant and you also have the option to sit out on the terrace which is a great choice during a warm day. Some of the most popular meals at Ristoro Di Lamole include pasta dishes, pork fillet with vegetables and a whole lot more. Don’t fill up too much on mains because the desserts are sure to make your mouth water and are so popular with locals and tourists alike. All the ingredients are locally sourced and of the highest quality to ensure that you have only the best experience at the restaurant. Complete with a wine cellar, you have a lot of equisite bottles to choose from to make your meal extra special. It can be guaranteed that this will be a restaurant you will want to return to, again and again.

2. Ristorante la Castellana

La Castellana is a small restaurant that is found in Chianti, between Florence and Siena. The food is comprised of fresh Tuscan ingredients and the staff at the family run restaurant really care about customer satisfaction before anything else. Some of the delicious meals served include sliced beef, chicken liver pate and of course your typical pasta dishes. The prices are very reasonable especially when the quality is taken into consideration. This is one of the best restaurants in the area, the food will leave you more than satisfied and there are a variety of wines for all different tastebuds. The location is charming and you will be made to feel like family during your time at Ristorante la Castellana. The truffles are very popular with customers at this restaurant and are worth sampling for yourself. Be sure to book a table beforehand as there are very few tables at this quaint establishment, the compact atmosphere is what makes it so great. The decor is beautiful, there is lovely music and the tables are displayed with candles for a little extra ambience. A place that you just MUST visiit if you are iin Chianti and looking for great places to eat.

3. Cantinetta Sassolini

Cantinetta Sassolini is a restaurant in the heart of Chianti that is always jam packed with eager customers wanting to sample the dishes. You can dine in the courtyard or the restaurant itself depending on the weather and what you are in the mood for. There is a varied menu and there will be something for you whether you like authentic tuscan cuisine or your classic t bone steak! The service is quick and the prices pretty cheap in Cantinetta Sassolini, so perfect if you are on a budget but still want a high quality meal. The simple cuisine is truly the best and you will be made to feel welcome at this restaurant which will only heighten your time there. Delicious food, exquisite wine and an amazing atmosphere all amount to a great dining experience and this is why this has its place on the top 5 restaurants in Chianti. This venue has it all and it is not pretentious, what you see is what you get with Cantinetta Sassolini.

4. La Cantinetta di Rignana

If you are looking for a picturesque restaurant on the hills of Chianti, look no further than La Cantinetta di Rignana. It’s scenic setting is probably the most beautiful on this list and the place itself is well known for great food and ambience alike. You will discover a whole variety of Tuscan delicacies that you never ever knew existed. The freshest ingredients of the highest quality are used in all dishes that are prepared and served at this restaurant. You will be high on life after you sample the amazing food and drinks on offer at La Cantinetta di Rignana. This restaurant has been running for many years but it is still really popular with tourists and locals. It can be a bit of a trek to reach this restaurant but once you do, the views alone will be more than worth it. The cheese board is a dish that is particularly popular with customers and once you sample it, you will soon discover why. Whether you want to eat inside or outside, the establishment is decorated beautifully and the staff are very welcoming. The traditional pasta dishes on the menu are delicious but there is a variety of meals to choose from, if something else is tickling your taste buds. For one of the best meals you will ever have in Italy, visit La Cantinetta di Rignana during your time in Chianti.

5. Gallo Nero

Gallo Nero is a restaurant that has been perfected over many years, providing excellent service and high quality food to anyone who decides to visit. If meat is something that is important to you, you are in luck because the finest steaks, sausages, ribs and much more is cooked in an open fire in this establishment. You will be spoilt for choice with the wine menu also, so this will give that extra special touch to your meal. It’s a spacious restaurant with a nice atmosphere, where the staff are friendly and attentive to all customers. The roasted lamb and the steaks are particularly popular with customers which is why this has earned the final coverted place of the best restaurants to visit in Chianti. If you want somewhere that is easy to find in the region but you don’t want to scrimp on quality, Gallo Nero is calling your name. It’s the most modern restaurant out of the others that have been named but the fact that it is family run means that it still has an authentic atmosphere that promises a great outing for the entire family.

How (And Where) To Drive An Exotic Car in Italy

Going to Italy is on the bucket list of almost every person alive. This is because Italy is said to be one of the most romantic places on earth. It’s also home to great fashion trends and has the most exquisite shopping places. On top of the retail therapy and exotic food, Italy offers its tourists the chance to drive super cars on the public roads and also on the racing tracks. Several companies offering this service are available to make your trip to Italy simply unforgettable.

How to Drive an Exotic Car in Italy

You can hire a super car in any agency for a few hours as a driving test or take it on a spin for two days. Every car comes with a driving instructor who is always with you for safety.

Where to Drive an Exotic Car in Italy

Ferrari F12Berlinetta 6.3 '12


1. Maranello and Modena

A test drive in Maranello starts with a private driver picking you up from your hotel and taking you to the heart of Italy of motor sport. This area is also known as the home of Ferrari or Italian Motor Valley. You board your super car of choice right after you pass the Ferrari factory. At this point you get to sit behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari and feel its roar and power. The instructor will sit right by you to give you instructions as you start slow in normal roads. You can increase the speed and use F1 super gear as you get used to the car until you reach the Modena racing track.

At this location you can combine road drive and tracking driving at the Modena autodromo. This is a complete racing track with amazing bends and gradients. The instructor will take the first lap as you watch closely so you can know how to do it. After that you are given back the pilot seat to take four exhilarating laps on the track. You then get to drive the car back to Maranello for thirty minutes before giving it back.

2. Imola Racing Track

The city of Imola is known as the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. It is famous for hosting formula One San Marino Grand Prix .The Imola racing track is one of the biggest tracks in Italy and is also a tourist attraction. Imola has the biggest Lamborghini academy where people are taught to drive this high-end car safely. The instructor stays with you but you stay in control. The instructors are patient, polite and let you make your own decisions. The benefit of the Imola race track over other tracks is that you get unlimited laps and different super cars.

3. Mugello Racing Track

At Autodromo Internazionale Del Mugello, one gets to learn all the tricks of race cars before test driving one. It is a big race circuit in Tuscany that enables one to take long laps and enjoy the super high speed. The facility is upgraded regularly to meet safety standards because it’s used by a lot of companies and individuals. You can test the power of an amazing GT car in this exhilarating descents and long straights with the guidance of an instructor.

At the Mugello’s circuit it also possible to drive a Formula one car.

4. Monza

Monza circuit is the most famous sports complex in the world because it hosts the prestigious grand prix events .It has long straights and fierce bends that will take your breath away. Monza circuit has 3 tracks; Gran Premio, junior tracks and the Speed track. Get a driving course in the junior track and then get behind the wheel on a fast race in the GT program. Monza circuit is also great for watching famous racers do their thing on track days. 

At the Monza’s circuit it also possible to drive a Formula one car.

How to Get An International Driving Permit

If you plan to drive a super car in the public road in Italy you should obtain an international driving permit.

Drivers from outside EU are required to get an international driving license if they are to be allowed to drive in Italy. This license must then be translated into Italian to avoid problems with the traffic police. Anyone who has a USA driving license is eligible for an international one from any AAA club in US or Canada. It does not require a driving test, only an online application with photos and a $15 fee. It must be renewed annually, just like every other driving permit. The process is real fast and comes with minimal hassle.

5 Stunning Chianti Wineries you can Visit from Florence

The beautiful and historic city of Florence is a place of many wonders, and it’s no surprise it remains one of the most visited places in Italy. Apart from the fabulous architecture and art galleries, Florence offers you a chance to experience another of Italy’s wonders: the fabulous wines of the Chianti region of Tuscany. Food and wine make up a great part of the culture of this beautiful country, so we have looked at five amazing chianti wineries within easy reach of Florence.

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Castello di Verrazzano initially an etruscan and then a roman settlement, this castle is one of the most famous of all the Chianti wineries, and a tour of this magnificent and historic place is a must for anyone visiting the region. With a history of winemaking going back almost 1000 years, you will be taken on a wonderful tour through the estate, and encouraged to indulge in tasting some of the very finest wine produced in all the world. This is an experience never to be forgotten, and a very beautiful place to visit.

The Castello di Brolio is another fabulous castle and historic winery, and offers a variety of exciting tours. Easily accessed from Florence, take in the spectacular Tuscan countryside as you tour a place that is as enticing as possible, and enjoy fine wines in exciting tasting sessions in what can only be described as a spectacular setting. This family winery has been in the same family since the 12th century, and the wines produced here are simply superb. The wonderful gardens, stunning castle and quaint museum are a must, so make this one for your shortlist.

Castello del Trebbio is next on our list; this magnificent estate combines an historic winery, dating back many hundreds of years, with wine estate tours options, and allows you to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in Tuscany. Some of the finest wines of Italy have been produced here – and still are to this day – so make sure you enjoy a wine tasting tour. Relaxed and yet invigorating, the slow pace of life of Tuscany is evident all the time here, so take the time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the region.

Fattoria il Lago is situated on the site of an ancient farm, once owned by notable Tuscan nobles, and is now a fabulous winery, olive oil producing estate and also offer tours of the wine production. Just a short distance from Florence, this is a place where you can relax and enjoy the location, take in wine tasting sessions and simply experience rural Italy at its best.

Finally, Torre a Cona is a great choice of place to visit and taste Chianti wines, and offers both a wine estate and activities in a quite wonderful setting. A choice of dinner on demand and cooking classes with excellent facilities – including a pool – and stunning views make this a very good choice if you are looking for a Tuscany holiday with wine as a feature.

The Chianti region is one of the most glorious of all in Italy, and any of the above wine estates make for a great place to visit or to stay when taking a holiday in the Tuscany region.

Interested in wine tours in the Chianti region? We offer chauffeured tours departing from Florence and Siena, for more information please click here.

A short guide about cycling in Chianti – Tuscany.

Have you ever thought about experiencing a day bicycle tour in the heart of the Chianti wine region? It can be a very original idea for spending a weekend in a different way. Many kinds of bicycle tours are offered through the hills of Chianti visiting vineyards, villas and olive groves. You will have the chance to enjoy stunning landscapes and obviously, to taste a glass of wine and some Tuscan olive oil on  bread.
Here are some suggestions to combine fun and adventure through the Chianti region. 2012 L'Eroica

South of Florence: Between Radda and Volpaia.

Radda in Chianti is one of the most popular Tuscan areas chosen by bike lovers, located in the province of Siena. This itinerary starts in Radda in Chianti and is 19 kilometres long. We can say that it’s a short route, but not so easy to cover, as it is it has slopes and steep elevations. For instance, you’ll find a steep rise towards Castelvecchi and Volpaia. Nevertheless, the effort is worth it. There you’ll enjoy a view of the Chianti landscape that seems to be really postcard perfect. This itinerary is part of a cycling loop check this website for the whole map.

East of Siena: Tour of Chianti from Castelnuovo Berardenga.

This great network of cycling routes around the Chianti region covers the four main municipalities of Siena. If is dotted with countless wineries that offer chianti tasting.  If you choose to take part in this journey, you will start from Castelnuovo Berardenga and you will have the choice to pedal for as long as long 98 kilometres. In certain areas, It can be a demanding tour, suitable for people who love working hard and are not afraid of long distances and steep rises.
Up and Down visiting Abbeys and Castles from Castelnuovo Berardenga to Castle of Montalto

Starting from Castelnuovo Berardenga you can choose this track that is just 28 kilometres. As a matter of fact, short itineraries can be the most demanding ones. The elevation profile is really varying. There are no long rises but at the same time, you won’t find any flat ground for almost 27 kilometres from Badia to Berardegna, as well as in the areas of the Monastery d’Ombrone and of the Castle of Montalto.

Towards Monteriggioni.

It’s a demanding itinerary,  51 kilometres long.
Is a tour of great historic interest but characterised by stunning views at the same time, above all in the Val d’Elsa. Tackling this route, you can choose to take a dirt shortcut, recommended for those who love riding mountain bikes.
The hardest part of the itinerary is the short but steep ride from Staggia towards the state highway Cassia, as well as the final rise to Castellina.

Towards Siena.

This 65-kilometre itinerary is one of the hardest ever. You really need a suitable bike to experience the demanding tour that starts from Radda in Chianti. The route is bumpy, with lots of bends, and it doesn’t present sudden elevations or drops however from start to finish there are more than 800 metres of difference in elevation.
A deviation towards the historic centre of Siena and the Certosa of Pontignano is strongly recommended. Don’t forget to fully enjoy the final part that goes through the authentic Chianti of San Sano, Lecchi, Ama and Andine.    

Going Meat Free in Tuscany: Ceci, Cicerchia and Beans.

Tuscan cuisine is largely based on legumes, for this reason there is a wide selection of Tuscan legumes which characterise many of the most delicate and flavourful Italian dishes. We are talking about Cicerchia, a traditional and ancient legume that cultivation dates back to the Mesopotamian era, and it looks like a squashed chickpea of some sort. In Italy is still widely grown in Tuscany. Cicerchia contains proteins like other legumes, B group vitamins, salt minerals and polyphenols. These beans need to soaked overnight and they are perfect for soup preparation, as well as Ceci (chickpeas), used for soup and pasta, they are indeed very nutritious. Finally, there are also some types of beans (cannellini and borlotti), tender and fine, appreciated for the easy digestibility. Furthermore, do not forget that they can be a good substitute for meat.
We propose three simple and flavourful recipes. Emilia Delizia compiled this short guide about going meat free in Tuscany. Enjoy!

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Tuscan borlotti beans

Zuppa di Cicerchie

The soup of Cicerchie is a nourishing dish. It is based on Cicerchie with sautéed celery, onions, potatoes and tomatoes, seasoned with rosemary and sage.
To prepare the soup, first you have to leave the Cicerchie to soak for at least 24 hours, changing the water frequently. Once they are ready, chop the onions and the celery; then clean and cut a tomato and two potatoes. In a quite big pot, brown two slices of garlic in some oil; once they will be ready, take them out and add celery and onion. After ten minutes, add potatoes, tomatoes, Cicerchia and season with salt and pepper. Add some vegetable broth from time to time.

Finally, add a sprig of rosemary and sage and cook for an hour. Once it will be ready, take out the sprig and serve the soup while it is still hot.

Pasta e Ceci

It is a simple and rich dish, perfect to eat in cold days. It is simple because it comes from the poor Tuscan tradition and it is rich because it puts together carbohydrates and proteins.
Firstly leave the Ceci to soak for 12 hours with a pinch of bicarbonate. Then rinse the legumes and cook them with rosemary. In the meanwhile, prepare a tomato sauce, with some garlic and rosemary.
Once Ceci are well cooked and soft blend them in a food processor, the result it should look like a liquid soup. Add the tomato sauce at cook it again until boiling; now you can add pasta (you can choose Ditalini or even broken Spaghetti) and keep cooking until is the pasta is ready.

Fagioli all’ uccelletto

It is a typical Tuscan dish from Florence. It is based on very simple ingredients and despite of its name, (uccelletto in Italian means little bird) you will not find meat in it.
Start cooking with the usual soaking and cooking of the beans: put them in a pot (made of terracotta if possible) and cook them in plenty of water, until they will be tender.
Once the beans are ready, brown them (again in a terracotta pot) with some oil, garlic and sage; add 200 gr of peeled tomatoes and cook it all until the sauce becomes dense.
Finally add the Beans, season with salt and pepper and keep cooking for an extra 15 minutes. Serve them as hot as possible.

Exploring Tuscany With a Personal Tourist Guide

If you are are looking to visit Tuscany or any other area in Italy with an experienced local guide please keep reading below. This can truly enhance your vacations! 

This tour is guided by: Massimo

I started working as a tour guide in Tuscany in 1987, when I was 23. I’m now almost 51. I started with German guests. As a tour guide I travelled almost everywhere through Europe (France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece) and also to Canada (Ontario and Québec) and to New York. In 2002 I specialized as a licensed tour guide for Lucca, a medieval town in Tuscany. I am also a graduated translator and interpreter and I’m about to get my second deegree in Mediator in Foreign Languages and Cultures’ at the University of Siena. I speak fluently following languages, beside Italian as a mother tongue: German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese. I speak also Swedish at a A2 level and I’m dealing also with Russian (A1 level) and Chinese at the moment!

Meeting the clients.

I will meet my guests either in Montecatini Terme, a very well-known spa resort in northern Tuscany, where I am at home, or in other towns like Florence, Siena, Pisa, Arezzo, etc. but also outside my region, all over Italy, and show them the beauties of my country.

In which area in Tuscany are you specialised?

I’m of course specialized for Tuscany (my ‘highlights’ are Lucca, Florence, Siena, Pisa, Pistoia and Arezzo), but I can also guide my guests through other regions like Lombardy (Milan, etc.), Emilia Romagna (Bologna, etc.), Umbria (Assisi, etc.). We will do a guided tour in town, where we can organize a lunch break in a typical restaurant, then also hire a car or minivan to travel through the countryside and see something else of our marvellous landscape.

What the clients can see? 

We can also visit some typical farms producing wine and olive oil, cheese, ham and other alimentary products, we can also taste and do shopping in town or in wholesale factories where they produce and sell typical handmade products such as leather shoes, bags, marble or alabaster souvenirs, etc. It will last up to about 8 hours with some breaks for a coffee or so.

The costs of my tours depend on how we will organize them, i.e. if I have to move to my guests hotel/house and live there with them for the whole period or just meet them each morning at their premises.

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Explore Tuscany with Private guide Massimo

 

Villa Holidays In the Heart of Tuscany

Amazing Tuscan Villa Stay with wine and food experience.

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The Soleado holidays home is situated on a beautiful hill resort in Pillo, in the municipality of Gambassi Terme. The Pillo village was founded thanks to the Old Via Francigena that crossed it and which even today numerous pilgrims still follow its historic route on foot. It is a pretty village set among the hills of the Chianti region from where you can easily reach the art cities and medieval villages.

Therefore, Soleado is located in the heart of Tuscany, a few kilometers from the most important historic-cultural city as Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano; set among hills and the most important historical tracks, it offers the opportunity to enjoy pleasant days between history and nature at the same time.

Soleado is not only that!

The enogastronomic experience that awaits you will be unique! You really have to try flavors and smells of the Tuscan tradition through itineraries in old cellars and real winemakers ready to accompany you in this unforgettable experience. Nearby the Villa you can find “Villa Pillo”, a traditional Tuscan Farm located in the heart of the Chianti area. Because of a strong focus on quality in both the vineyard and winery, Villa Pillo is fast becoming a point of reference in the Tuscan wine world.
Furthermore, they will be right the owners of the villa that on your arrival will recommend places where you can taste traditional Tuscan food or just where you can buy excellent fresh bread every day.

Why stay here?

The Soleado holiday home is thus the ideal place to spend your vacation in perfect harmony between relaxation and the desire to discover Tuscany’s artistic, landscape and food and wine attractions.

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Food Lovers Tour in Florence

Florence does not only offers art, culture and architecture but as in any other Italian city it offers a vast array of foods and wines. This tour offers a possibly to explore gelato, espresso, chanti wine, and a visit to the central food market in the city. Not to be missed by any food lover!

Tour Guide: Juliane

I am German, 49 years old, deeply in love with Italy. I lived in Florence for 30 years and I am an Art History major, with 24 years experience as guide and tour manager.

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Florence market food and wine tour – source

 Customized private tour, not more than 8 participants.

Central Food Market Hall of Florence, visit and tastings:
Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Truffles, Tuscan Specialities.
Walking tour along all the most important monuments: Duomo, Signoria Square, Ponte Vecchio. Stops for more tastings: gelato, lesson on Italian Coffee, Wine, Prosecco or Grappa, street food such as tripe and good Italian Panini.

Possibility to include the David of Michelangelo.

Duration: about 4 hrs

Meeting point: Pick up in your hotel, or at the Bell Tower of the Duomo.
Entrance fee for the Accademia Museum (David): 16,00 E. per person

Walking Tour of Pistoia

Michela: authorised guide of Pistoia and Florence since 1992

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Guided tour with a licensed guide in Pistoia – source

 

Proposed itinerary:

Walking tour through the medieval paved street of Pistoia a little fascinating city in the heart of Tuscany.
We start from the church of San Andrea with the fabulous pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, after that we walk to see the Robbiane, marvellous decorations of the Old Hospital of Il Ceppo, and we continue up to the main Duomo Square, civic and religious centre of the city. Inside the Cathedral we will admire the silver altar dedicated to Saint James, famous patron of Pistoia .
The tour will finish in the lively Piazza Sala with typocal restaurant and wine bars , meeting place of local young people where you can taste good local good and wine.