Chianti in Tuscany 2

Trip Start Aug 13, 2010
Trip End Oct 07, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Saturday, September 25, 2010

Driving through the countryside of Tuscany provides beautiful vistas in all directions. At this time of year many fields have been ploughed up to rest for the winter while the vineyards and olive plantations continue their work. The farmed areas are interspersed with areas of woodland. So the whole region of rolling hills and valleys is covered in a patchwork of different colours, with the iconic cypress trees that are a defining feature of the Tuscan scenery appearing at irregular and pleasing intervals.  Dotted around are the old farm buildings, many now converted to hotels or the country homes of the wealthy.  And then there are the villages and the towns, built centuries ago, usually on a hill and fortified with a perimeter wall.  In many cases the walls have been breached as the town has spread since the need for the wall ceased.  In other cases, where the community has not had the wealth to change, it has remained behind its walls as though time has stood still since the original build.  Tuscany could easily be on the shortlist for Utopia.

The downside to Tuscany is that there are no walking paths through it.  It seems to be all private land, and the only way to get around is on the public roads.  While there is never a great deal of traffic on the roads, some of it, particularly the local delivery services, can be a bit scary: walking is definitely not conducive to communing peacefully with nature.

The route for the day:
- San Gusm village (beautiful old fortified village with lovely simple church)
- Gaiole in Chianti (disappointing – just a long street)
- Radda in Chianti (typical fortified hill town)
- Castellina in Chianti (another fortified hill town looked very interesting but nowhere to park)
- Siena (beautiful and large)
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