Tuscany is one of Italy's most popular tourist destinations thanks to its historic towns and cities, but it is also known for its stunning countryside. Nowhere is this more apparent than Chianti, as you'll discover if you book a luxury Tuscany villa rental here.
The rolling green hills the region is home to are a photographer's paradise so make sure you always have a camera at hand as you explore. There are so many ways to get around, such as walking, cycling and horse riding, and your journey will take you by vineyards and olive groves, through ancient stone villages and even past castles.
One such example is Castellina in Chianti, a city perched high on a hill at the crossroads between the valleys of Pesa, Arbia and Elsa. It may be small, but this is actually one of the most important settlements in Chianti.
Dating back to Etruscan times, it became a vital outpost for the rulers of Florence thanks to its position on the Chiantigiana road between the city and Siena. The conflict between these two resulted in Castellina in Chianti being destroyed on several occasions, which is why the walls around it were later made so thick and strong.
You can learn more about this period at the 14th century Rocca castle, which houses a small museum. You can also visit the Via delle Volte - a tunnel hidden beneath the walls where the city's guards once patrolled. Today it is lined with shops and restaurants, so grab a bite to eat and some souvenirs before your day comes to an end.
Castellina in Chianti is located in Chianti Classico, an area deemed to be the oldest part of Chianti. If you are keen to sample a glass or two of the local wine, this is the place to do it.
The Chianti Classico Wine has been produced here for more than 2,000 years and you can differentiate the tipple from other Chianti wines by the bottle it is served in, which features a pink label with a black rooster on it. You can also use your palette to recognise it, as the drink is dry and sapid in flavour, with a rich ruby-red colour and slightly floral scent.
Perhaps the best excursion to fit into your time here is a wine-tasting trip and there are vineyards all over the region only too happy to accommodate you. The town of Greve - often considered the gateway to Chianti - is a great option as not only is it surrounded by several wineries and farms, but it is also home to a multitude of wine bars and even a museum dedicated to the beverage. Le Cantine is a good option as there are hundreds of wines to sample.