Written by Fong Chau for Red Online
While staying at Podere Brogi Fong Chau indulgers in fine chianti fine, visits a rock and roll butcher and visits a Prada wharehosue
48 Hours In Chianti
Located in Tuscany, northern Italy, Chianti is less hectic than Florence and boasts the charm of a quiet village. A village where you’re never a few meters away from some truly excellent wine.
Part of its charm is that it has heart and soul and is the Italian family home of our dreams… if only those pesky Euro Millions numbers would come good! The village of Lari is a mere ten minute stroll away along a shaded, gently undulating road. In the ancient cobbled square life runs at a medieval pace; the most taxing task: choosing which avour of artisan gelato to scoop at Lari’s endearing ice cream parlour.
Forget the straw-covered bottles you find on the bottom shelf at the off licence, Chianti Classico is a refined wine and the place where it comes from is just as gorgeous.
Here’s how to best spend a weekend there.
Has there been a greater pairing than a glass of rich red wine and a hulking great big steak? Join the famous butcher Dario Cecchini and the friends you just haven’t made yet at the communal table at Antica Macelleria Cecchini butcher shop and restaurant.
Enormous cuts of beef will be charred before you (ask for a table away from the oven if you value your skin) as the Chianti flows very, very freely. The set menu includes more than five courses of various cuts of beef (there is a vegetarian option, but if you don’t eat meat, you are really best to choose dining option that isn’t based in a butcher’s shop). It’s over the top, theatrical and pretty delicious.
Wine, wine and more wine. There’s really nothing else to drink in Chianti, than well, Chianti. Plenty of vineyards will offer a tour where you can see how the wine is made and have a sample of some towards the end. For stunning views, you could do a lot worse than the Petrolo Vineyard, where celebrities and the political elite holiday. The wine is superb while the grounds offer the perfect backdrop for sipping them.
For something a little more unique, visit Il Paradiso di Frassina Vineyard where the vines – and visitors – are serenaded with Motzart. Apparently it helps them grow stronger. Sceptics might disagree, but the wine itself certainly tastes very fine indeed.
Two words: Prada Outlet. The discount warehouse (and yes, it is the size of a warehouse) is located in the town of Montevarchi (52025 Montevarchi, Province of Arezzo, Italy) deep in Chianti region.
Prada and Miu Miu shoes, clothes and accessories range from 30 – 70% cheaper than retail. Sure the pound has taken a hammering after Brexit, but you’ll still be grabbing a bargain. The shop itself is tidy and well organised – if you come on a weekend, expect to queue.
What else is there?
What more do you need? The region of Tuscany is gorgeous and perfect for nature lovers. Want to try something unconventional? Try exploring it via quad bike. Hire one from Crazy Quad Toscana (it’s safer than it sounds, trust us) and hit the open road. Find panoramic views of the hills and valleys and come off-road for some of the most beautiful nature you’ll ever see.
If you don’t fancy driving, a driver can be hired, leaving you to enjoy the scenery (and the wine) to your heart’s content.