La bella Italia
There is something just fascinating about the mediterranean culture that we Britons have still to grasp - if we ever manage to, which is, in my opinion, sadly doubtly. Some people call moving to places like Italy "finding a place in the sun", and I guess there is no more accurate way to describe it in such a few words. The chance is huge, and not only because you get to experience actual sunlight on your face most of the time, even during winter. There is sunshine inside people. It's like those warm and merry beams of light somehow found their way into the hearts of Italian people, and now those guys shine with their own light. A very welcoming light, should I say.
Going to Italy for vacation is an amazing experience, and for a number of reasons. People who live there are interesting, nice, happy and, in some way, hilarious. They shout at each other all the time and hug and have fun, they're so romantic and friendly and careless that you just want to join them, be like them, share the life they're living. The scenery is astounding, and some buildings that have managed to survive the passing of time really transport you to a different age. It's an otherworldly experience. And the natural landscapa is amazing too, the Mediterranean see is all you could wish a sea to be, and the hills and valleys catch your eye and are eager to let it go.
Food and wine in Tuscany
Another great thing about the Italians is how they eat and drink. Food is a core element in the Italian culture, they enjoy it and use it to bond with each other. They eat a lot. As in "Good Lord I have no idea where you've hidden those three plates of food you've just vanished from the table". And Italian cuisine is one of the best of the world. Italian food has become famous in many countries, but as it usually happens to "worldwide requested cuisine", what we get in our so-called "Italian restaurants" is rarely a match to the actual food and wine they make and serve in Italy. In other words, you've never had Italian food until you've had Italian food in Italy.
One of the most popular touristic regions in this country is Tuscany, and if there is one thing that makes Tuscany famous, is its wines. Here you will find a wide variety of grapes and enormous vineyards that spread beyond the horizon line. You can't visit Tuscany without trying some of its renowned wines, so here is our reccommendation, one of the main wine regions of Italy.
Chianti, the land of wine
Chianti is one of the most beautiful regions of Tuscany, and it has become famous worldwide for its vineyards and its wine. If you visit Florence or any other of the main cities of Tuscany, you will want to drop by and spend a couple days in this amazing countryside or any of the small towns that lie scattered here and there. One of the highlights of the area is Greve, a village that has survived many years of convoluted history and is know as the gateway to Chianti. Visit Greve in Chianti for a laid-back experience of an Italian small town, try the wine and the food where they are born, and absorb the calm atmosphere of the area.
Verazzano castle is another must-see for wine lovers. Placed in Chianti as well, this magnificent structure rises from the vineyards and holds huge cellars. This is a venue that hosts wine tasting events and activities. You can have a whole experience with flavours and aromas and even make new friends. Full meals are also served in Verazzano, so you must make sure to visit this amazing castle before you leave Chianti.
Oh, and one more thing. You have to visit Dario Checchini before you leave. He is the most famous butcher in Italy, and he runs his own butchery with his family - this has been a family business for around six generations. You can try the meat here as well as learn about butchery from Checchini, who isn't famous only because of his talent, but also because of his unique philosophy.
As you can see, if you wonder what to do in Chianti, you will soon find plenty of options for a wine and food-related experience - just as any true Italian experience should be! So next time you are headed to Tuscany, remember to drop by Chianti, you will never regret taking a couple days to stay there!