Amidst the rolling hills of Tuscany, in the municipality of Greve in Chianti, stands the little ancient world of Montefioralle. A jewel of rare beauty, a timeless place that immerses the visitor within a model of life and cordiality inspired by the sobriety of its architecture, the beauty of its alleyways, and the combination of fragrances and flavours that, coming from the surrounding nature, give rise to one of the richest food and wine experiences Italy has to offer. A location so picturesque that in 2022 it was recognised as one of the “Borghi più Belli d'Italia” (Italy's most beautiful villages) by the association of the same name.
This beauty derives from a past steeped in history: indeed, the ancient urban centre of Montefioralle emerged on the slopes towards the top of the hill. This is where the original feudal settlement was built, a reminder of which is provided by the castle that dates back to 931. From that moment, the ownership of the castle passed from one local noble family to another, until in 1325 when Castruccio Castracani took the fortified abbey by force and started changing the architecture of the village.
Subsequently, the castle came under the control of Florence, then Siena, before definitively going back to Florence. It then retained a certain political importance since, for many years, the surrounding area was administratively controlled from here, it was also where the local town hall and hospital were based. It was precisely the castle’s centrality in relation to village life that led to the unique layout of the buildings which, over time, expanded to form an elliptical plan, with a single radial street from which a myriad of small alleyways branch off. Just as in the past, these narrow streets still appear to form part of the feudal citadel, whose mighty rectangular structure is still standing.
Montefioralle is a treasure chest of unaltered beauty with its stone houses and enchanting views of the Chianti hills, a small fortified village that welcomes the visitor to a place that has remained untouched for centuries, a journey through time that refreshes the soul and intoxicates the eye. It’s a place that has to be explored on foot, to be able to take in all the many little details that make it so incredibly unique, a village that invites you to lose yourself in the past to find yourself in a present of calm and beauty.
Local cuisine, traditional dishes, interesting facts
Tuscany and the Chianti area in particular are synonymous with excellent food and wine traditions, but the village is known for a speciality all of its own: the frittella del Castello di Montefioralle (the Castello di Montefioralle fritter). A kilo of rice, three litres of milk, the peel of an orange, twelve egg yolks, six hundred grams of sugar, all flavoured with a small glass of liqueur: a recipe that originated as a collective secret, guarded by an entire community, both in terms of its preparation and cooking, but which is resurrected in March each year to delight tourists and locals alike at the much-anticipated Sagra delle Frittelle (Fritter Festival). Montefioralle is also one of the villages where Tuscany's wine production traditions play a central role: so, a village visit must absolutely include a stop-off at its wine cellars to taste one of the excellent wines from the local vineyards, such as Chianti Classico or Vin Santo.
Where to eat enjoing a bottle
di Acqua San Benedetto
Ristorante La Castellana - Località Montefioralle - Greve in Chianti