We love every aspect of our Chianti Wine and Food Safari tour – but foodies who want a taste of an authentic Italian town to pair with their authentic Italian wine will be particularly impressed by our time spent in the picturesque town of Greve.
If you’re in search of authentic Tuscany travel, guides will recommend Greve time and time again. This lovely little town has everything the discerning traveller could possibly want. Its quaint, small-town atmosphere mixed with a great selection of restaurants and shops and opportunities to discover history and art make it the ideal place to visit if you want to discover genuine local Italian life without running out of things to do.
On our Chianti Wine and Food Safari tour you (along with your Tuscany travel guide and fellow travellers) will stop in idyllic Greve to unwind and soak up the town’s unique culture. You will be given a bit of free time at this point – why not use the rest of this blog post as inspiration for how to spend it?
The Piazza Matteotti
The Piazza Matteotti is considered Greve’s focal point and is the most central spot in the town. You will find many artisan workshops, restaurants and boutique shops here, making this area ideal for people watching, window shopping and enjoying the authentic Italian atmosphere.
Two of the most popular spots in the square are Bottega dell’Artigianato, where you will find products made from olive wood and lovely baskets woven by hand, and Antica Macelleria Falorni, a butcher’s shop that has been around since 1729. If you’ve got an interest in history, you’ll enjoy seeing the Palazzo del Comune (the neo-Renaissance style city hall). Another highlight is the enormous statue of the famous explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano.
Tuscany Travel Guide Tip: Take advantage of all the Piazza Matteotti has to offer during our free time in Greve – why not indulge in a bit of souvenir shopping or stop for a coffee at one of the local cafes?
“The stop in Greve was much appreciated and allowed you to get a feel of a local town, something that is often not included on other tours.”
5 Stars on TripAdvisor, cmabrown
Santa Croce Church
Santa Croce Church can also be found in the Piazza Matteotti. It was built on the site of what was once a medieval church and it features a neoclassical façade. You will be able to see many masterpieces here, although two of the most impressive and popular are a triptych from 1420 by Lorenzo di Bicci and a fresco from the fourteenth century known as Virgin Mary with Child.
Castle of Montefioralle
The Castle of Montefioralle is located in – you guessed it – Montefioralle, a medieval village just outside of Greve (the latter town began as the castle’s marketplace during the thirteenth century). The name was originally ‘Monteficalle’, a reference to the abundance of fig trees that grow in the area’s fields. Luckily, much of the town and the castle are very well preserved, meaning that visitors get an accurate taste of what it looked like at its peak. Here you will be able to see the remains of the defence walls, gates, towers and more.
The first recorded mention of the castle itself is from 1085. During the Middle Ages, it held the honour of being the biggest military settlement in the area. However, in 1325 it was raided and pillaged by the Duke of Lucca, Castruccio Castracani. Over the succeeding years, it has belonged to many well-off Italian families, such as the Gherardinis, the Bencis, the Ricasolis and the Vespuccis (in fact, the man who was the continent of America’s namesake, Amerigo Vespucci, lived here in the 1400s). By the eighteenth century, it was no longer being used for defensive purposes.
Today, the castle and small surrounding village make for a lovely historical day trip for anyone in the area.
Tuscany Travel Guide Tip: As the castle is located one mile uphill from Greve, you may not be able to visit it during our free time in the town. However, this is definitely a historical site you should explore during your travels in Italy – we recommend making a return trip to see it.
We think you will agree that Greve gives you a great introduction to a small, authentic Italian town, from discovering shops that have been there for centuries to unearthing its local art and history.
We Are Walkabout Florence
If you’re interested in discovering Greve on our Chianti Wine and Food Safari or would like to hear more about our other tours, please get in touch with our team for more information. All of our Walkabout Florence day trips are led by experienced Tuscany travel guides and are a great way to experience what Italy has to offer, from cooking classes to vintage vehicles.