Category Archives: Italy

Walking in the Chianti

There are plenty of tour companies offering both guided and self guided walking tours of the Chianti area of Tuscany, but its not hard to cobble together your own itinerary with the aid of a good detailed map or a book like Lonely Planet’s Walking In Italy, or James Lasdun and Pia Davis’s Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria both of which feature similar walking routes in the Chianti.

We chose to do the “Chianti Excursion” from Walking and Eating etc. but didn’t realize that a new edition of the book was out, and so we took along the 1997 edition. We walked from Greve in Chianti to the chapel and former villa of Parco San Michele, now a hotel/restaraunt. The route is a gradual uphill climb on a gravel road–not particularly enjoyable as it climbs to the highest point in the Chianti, although there are some nice views, particularly looking back at Greve.

From San Michele we hoofed it over to Radda in Chianti on a winding tangle of a trail (got lost just before we got to the village of Volpaia). We had lunch in this beautiful village and then continued on through the most scenic part of the route into Radda.

From Radda we opted for the San Sano destination, as opposed to going to Vagliagli. We didn’t bring much food, because we were hoping to have lunch at the recommended restaraunt, Il Poggio, just before San Polo. However, upon arrival, we were told that this restaraunt had been closed for a couple of years, and there was nothing else. Hopefully, this will be noted in the new edition of Walking and Eating. We ate the little food we had brought with us and straggled into the beautiful little village of San Sano. First stop was a tiny grocery store/trattoria, where we revived ourselves with, first, gelato ice cream and then cafe lattes. Thankfully, we had phoned ahead to make reservations at Hotel Residence San Sano, a renovated 13th century fortress, the only hotel in town and well worth the price. The meal there was also exceptional.

Thus ended our Chianti excursion. The next day we bused to Siena and then on to Montalcino to taste the famous Brunello wine first hand.


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Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria

The authors of this popular book (first published in 1997) have at long last released an updated edition. Actually it was released in 2005, after the authors revisited in 2004. We visited Italy ourselves in 2005 and walked two of the author’s routes. If only we had known that there was an updated edition! That might have saved us from getting lost on one occassion and from getting trapped in the grounds of a former Francisan monestary on another…and of course there was the time we were counting on a lunch in a one restaraunt village, only to discover upon arrival that the restaraunt had closed a couple of years before! Anyway, we are hoping to discovering more of Italy in the future and look forward to perusing the pages of the new edition.

The authors also have a website worth visiting at

The website states:
“James Lasdun and Pia Davis offer forty walks through the spectacular countryside of Tuscany and Umbria. Arranged for the utmost flexibility—from half-day outings easily accessible from a city base to day walks that can be linked together in a series—the itineraries combine the pleasures of walking and eating with one of the most enchanting landscapes in the world. Calling at medieval hill towns, secluded Benedictine abbeys, spring-fed pools, and Etruscan ruins, Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria enables travelers to discover Italy’s finest delights in a singularly rewarding way.”

We can’t wait!

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