Did you know that the Crete Senesi area in Chianti, Tuscany, is one of the most photographed areas in the world? |
Read on to learn more about the seven famous photography spots that should be on the must see list of anyone who wants to experience the very essence of this region.
The Special Nature of Crete Senesi
The Crete Senesi spans from south of Siena to Sant’Antimo. Its unique landscapes are known worldwide for their unforgettable beauty, with vibrant green wheat fields, scores of sunflowers in the summer and vast vineyards just some of the things to look forward to. An unusual feature, the earth here is sandy and grey, giving it a cosmic, moon-like quality.
Without a doubt, a drive through this fascinating region is one of the best things to do in Chianti.
Things to do in Chianti’s Crete Senesi
There are seven must see places in the area for those desiring a picture-perfect getaway. Seriously, the photos you snap here will rival the best postcards you can buy.
1 - Viale con i cipressi
Along the hilltops you’ll spy a stunning zig-zagging line of cypress trees. The cypresses border a winding S-shaped part of the river that runs through the rolling countryside. You may recognise the view from a past screensaver or calendar – this shot is one of the most used photographs in the word!
2 - Site transitoire
French sculptor Jean-Paul Phillipe’s dramatic installation of a stone throne stands on a slope among olive groves. Sit on this regal chair and gaze over your kingdom, where you will be able to see in every direction, all the way to Siena.
3 - Chiusure
A tiny village surrounded by forest and gullies, Chiusure is a rural paradise. As you explore the town’s steep lanes, you will find yourself transported back to ancient times. Expect sweeping views over the iconic white calanchi.
While here, don’t miss out on another of the best (and most delicious) things to do in Chianti: sampling Chiusure’s locally cultivated artichokes. They flourish in this area thanks to its unique microclimate.
4 – Strada di Leonina
This is another jaw-dropping spot for cypress trees. Stop here to take in large hillside fields, small clusters of houses on the hilltops, and precise lines of cypresses winding down the slopes.
5 – Hay Rolls
Hay rolls can be found dotted over the expanses of wheat fields in the summer. Because there is no one location, it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative with camera angles and capture something personal from this unforgettable region.
6 – Monte Oliveto Maggiore
The Monte Oliveto Maggiore - a twelfth century abbey of the Benedictine order - sits in forest among the gullies. The atmosphere here is truly peaceful.
If you have time, visiting the interior of the monastery to see the cloisters, library and frescoes would be a great thing to do. In Chianti’s Monte Oliveto Maggiore monastery you will also be able to taste produce grown and made by the monks in the abbey farm. The wine, liqueurs and olive oil are very special.
7 – Podere Salicotto
At the end of the day, don’t head straight back to your hotel. Make sure you’re in the region to watch the sun go down! Sunsets are guaranteed to be incredible across the area, but for something really spectacular, drive to Podere Salicotto for the best photo. Sitting back and admiring the breath-taking sunset view here is a very serene thing to do in Chianti and is the perfect way to wrap up your trip.
As you can see, a trip to this location is one of the best and most picturesque things to do in Chianti. To get the most out of your visit, consider booking a day trip with a local tour operator. The guide will help bring the place alive and make sure that your experience is unforgettable.
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including the best things to do in Chianti. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
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