CHIANTI: WALKING & WINE

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Walking through the beautiful, peaceful countryside to Greve on a bright sunny autumn day , with the vine  leaves just turning and the wonderful light   . Just as I imagined Tuscany to be .The 'local' market was something of a disapointment but watching the post -market clear- up (which revealed a very pretty square) was revelatory (you had to be there!). Apparently the wine- tasting in Greve was quite an experience (we stuck to a very long lunch......). San Gimignano was also truly lovely .Local guide gave us a good sense of its history and importance . Also had three great meals there.

What did you think of your group leader?

He had apparently not done this trip before . Our visits to Siena and Volterra would have been much enhanced by having a local/experienced guide. We had one in San Gimignano on our first day, as he was indisposed, and it really made a difference.  Any group really interested in the history/culture (as well as the wine/walking) might be advised to club together to engage a local guide in these circumstances .

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

If travelling in mid- Oct be prepared for the mornings and evenings to be quite cold . The wind at (hill- top) Volterra was also cutting . I had taken a fleece but  I could have done with more long trousers.  No problem with mosquitos or other insects, to my relief.  

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Fatorria Voltrona was really nice.Plenty of hot water, powerful shower and the heating came on at night .Big, very simple rooms,with tiled floors. We were lucky enough to be at the front with a fabulous view over the countryside. Food was variable  but plentiful-4 courses- and the wine supply was more than  generous . Staff were very helpful and pleasant .