There’s only one thing I can think of that can make leaving Florence bearable: leaving it for Chianti. Yes, the wine. And the life. So my 12 days of grace recipe starts with 3 days in Florence, followed by 9 more in the countryside, in the heart of the Tuscan vines.
I pack my things carelessly, throw everything in the small Fiat or Mini I rented, and head south for the SR222. First timers are warned: go my way, not the highway. What I mean is take the SR222, the “wine” road through the villages and vineyards of Chianti Classico. I always stay at a farmhouse near Monteriggioni, but any farm or agriturismo along the way will do the trick. The Chiantigiana cures the blues of Florence’s graceful rooftops as it lulls you sweetly over the lazy countryside. Before you can say pecorino, you went right through the rabbit hole of Tuscany.
Strada, Greve in Chianti, Panzano, Castellina, and even – at a short detour on SP2 – Rada in Chianti or Volpaia, these are all great places to find accommodation at a farmhouse overlooking the vineyards or the olive groves.
Why 9 days?
Because you need: two days of dolce far’niente, one day for a roadtrip to Pienza and Val d’Orcia, one day for Siena, two days for Montalcino and Montepulciano, one day for Volterra and San Gimignano, and two -three days for discovering the Chianti villages, the vineyards and the local producers of cheese, olive oil and other typical goodies. Truth be told, you need 9 days for just the first and the last of the musts.