If you enjoy camping and want to see the wine country south of Florence, here is a wonderful itinerary for you. The route goes from Florence south towards Siena and crosses through Chianti.
Chianti: a vast geographical area with hills in the center of Tuscany. Its borders are delineated by the Ombrone river to the north, the Arno to the south, the Chianti mounts to the east and the Val d'Elsa to the west. Its hills are rich in rivers such as the Greve, Arbia, Ombrone, Elsa, and Pesa, adding beauty to this already stunning area where you can see man's activity in the form of vineyards, wheat fields and olive groves.
There are woods with chestnut and oak trees. There are soft hills with small churches, old castles, grand villas and farms. The area has been agricultural for thousands of years.The road through Chianti that extends between Florence and SIena is called the Chiantigiana. It starts in Greve and crosses the area.The Chianti Classico area includes Greve, Radda, Castellina and Gaiole in Chianti as well as parts of Castelnuovo Berardenga, Barberino Val D’Elsa, San Casciano Val di Pesa,Poggibonsi and Tavarnelle. All of them are worth visiting. Traditions are maintained and saved here.
Wine is one of the great traditions for which Tuscany is famous. The land of Chianti Classico exists in the 70 km that separate Siena from Florence. When visiting be sure to visit cellars and vineyards where you can buy local products. The Chianti Classico DOCG is the most famous, which is made with Sangiovese grapes or in a blend with other red grapes including Canaiolo and Colorino and has had a black rooster on its neck band since 1924.
Other products include extra virgin olive oil and vinsanto. Chianina beef is also a speciality, as is the cinta senese, a special kind of pig that comes from here. Recently saffron has been grown here, too. But this area is not only about food and wine. Great culture exists here too. Montepulciano is the pearl of the Renaissance, and is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, and home to 15,000 people. From the tower of the Palazzo Comunale you can see Gran Sasso mountain. The famous wine here is Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, one of the oldest in Italy. The traditional cuisine is also excellent, with handmade pasta pici being one of the favorite dishes.
Don't forget to visit Montalcino and pick up a bottle of Brunello, one of the most famous wines in the world. Returning to Siena, if you head towards Val d'Elsa you arrive in one of those places where nature, culture and history are in perfect harmony: San Gimignano, rising up on a hill surrounded by walls, it is a perfect example of medieval cities. Enter through San Giovanni gate and walk to the Piazza della Cisterna, with its tower-homes, and proceed on to Piazza del Duomo and the Collegiata. The white wine here is excellent: Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a straw yellow color, slightly bitter, produced with grapes by the same name.
Not far away on the road to Siena is a the fort town of Monteriggioni. Founded in the 13th century by the Republic of Siena as a fortress for Florence, it has its ancient walls and 14 towers, and is a rare example of military architecture. This too is Tuscany, the fusion of nature, art, genius and hard work, that has given rise to the Tuscan landscape that the whole world admires.