I suppose we throw around the words “hidden gem” a bit too much in English, but if there ever was a definition for the term, “Montefioralle” just might be it.
Many tourists staying in Florence take the day trip to Greve, a small town in Chianti that is just a 30 minute drive from the city center (or 45 by bus, which only costs 3 euros!!). But what few tourists know is that just 1 km up the hill from Greve lies a sleepy little stone town called Montefioralle. The walk uphill is beautiful: the road cuts through olive orchards, and as it makes a turn towards Montefioralle, it offers a stunning view of the vineyard covered valley.
We took this trek and it was well worth it. At the top of the hill, just outside the sleepy town’s stone walls, is a beautiful restaurant with al fresco dining that looks over another valley. We enjoyed truffled pasta and an outstanding gnocchi before walking around the city, which is laid out in a very interesting way: the ONE street (too small for cars) actually circles around the town, leading you back to the place you first started in about 5 minutes. Adorable… and fascinating!
We took the trip to Montefioralle twice. The first time, we explored the tiny town and then visited an agritourismo outside of town (Montefioralle and Greve are surrounded by agritourismos!) and sampled some delicious wine. We then took a hike through the vineyards, viewed the oldest church in Tuscany (now an artists’ commune) and then followed the road back to Greve. The second time we visited Montefioralle, the town was having a wine festival. For seven euros we purchased a wine glass and were privy to taste as many of the wines as we wanted from all the local producers. We spent the day walking around the tiny city, sampling wines, olive oils, local jams, and honeys. It was certainly a day to remember!