I have discovered the tiny village of Montefioralle by accident, when I was driving around aimlessly on the winding Chianti roads, stopping all the time to capture the beauty of the Tuscan countryside with my camera. I have returned several times since then, and while booking an agriturismo for my clients, I always recommend them to go to Montefioralle. Of course my passion for Montefioralle is shared by others as well, it is listed among the most beautiful small villages of Italy. (I borghi piú belli d'Italia).
Montefioralle can be found close to Greve in Chianti, about 1.5 kms away. Greve is easy to find, there are several signposts along the road. Greve's triangle-shaped main square, Piazza Matteotti, is also worth a visit, it's the perfect place for a cappuccino and some people watching. It also hosts the famous weekly market of Greve on Saturdays. Walk into the tourist information point on the square and ask for a map and directions to Montefioralle. You can reach the village by car, but you'll have to park outside the walls, as the historical center is car-free, luckily. However, walking up to Montefioralle, through the olive groves, is a much nicer experience.
The village has a stunning location, on top of a hill, surronded by the green rolling hills of Chianti. It's one of the most ancient villages of the area, strategically located between Florence and Siena. The village is surrounded by the original walls and it was beautifully preserved throughout the centuries.
As soon as you enter the village, you feel like you step back to the middle ages. One narrow street runs around the historical center, and you'll be walking by stone houses, unique wooden doors and mini gardens. You don't have to worry about meeting busloads of tourist groups here, it's the perfect place to enjoy slow Italian life and meet local people. Usually I was the only visitor in the village, and the local ladies sitting outside their homes were happy to chat with me. Although Montefioralle is really small, I can spend hours just walking around, taking photos, enjoying the silence and the world-class Chianti view.
The highest point of Montefioralle is the Church of Santo Stefano. Once I was visiting the hamlet with a small group and we wanted to go inside the church, but it was closed. We bumped into a local man who opened the door for us and told us about the history and the frescoes of the church. He also told us that Montefioralle was once home of Amerigo Vespucci, the famous explorer. The man had a small wine shop in the village, so we tasted some wine and of course we ended up with a few bottles of delicious Chianti wine.
From the terrace of Taverna del Guerrino you can enjoy an amazing panorama of the olive groves and the vineyards, while trying Tuscan specialties like local salami, crostini, spaghetti with wild boar ragout, ribollita or home-made desserts with some Vinsanto. For a truly authentic experience, go to Alberto's home restaurant, where they serve a set menu for lunch at an affordable price. It's like going to an aunt's house. Alberto and Rosa welcome you with a smile in their own backyard, so you can feel like in a family lunch, immersed in the Tuscan countryside.
Montefioralle is a place where I would love to live, but when I asked around, there was not a single home for sale.