Walking from Florence to Siena through the gentle hills of Chianti is one of the loveliest ways to experience the landscapes, history, and culture of Tuscany. Context guide and cultural historian Kate Bolton-Porciatti leads this journey back in time, via Roman and Etruscan paths and ancient pilgrim routes, stopping en route to sip Chianti's famous wines and sample its distinctive cuisine.
Chianti's voluptuous landscape of undulating vineyards, olive groves, and wooded hills narrates a story that goes back to the Etruscans, who first made wine in this fertile area over 2000 years ago. Walking through Chianti from Florence to Siena is the perfect way to appreciate its history, as we trace the footprints of ancient settlers and medieval pilgrims. We amble past Romanesque abbeys, monasteries, and rural churches, then climb up to castles, watchtowers and fortified hamlets that bear witness to the many conflicts between the two great Tuscan cities. Traversing vineyards and olive groves we explore Chianti's long history of wine and olive-oil making, and as we wander through its shady woods - a haven for deer, wild boar, porcupines, and other wildlife - we can appreciate its robust and gamey culinary traditions. We stop off at Renaissance villas and palazzi where the shadows of Machiavelli, Michelangelo, and Vasari still linger, and where contemporary art thrives at the same time. And we drink in heady views (and heady wines) en route.
Led by an expert on Italian culture, Kate Bolton-Porciatti (who has lived in the area for many years), this interactive seminar will explore the many aspects that make Chianti such a beguiling and timeless area. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation of Chianti's past and present.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.