Picture a favorite storybook scene set in a small village in the rolling hills of Tuscany. Fill the pictures on the pages with medieval walls, rustic gardens, and uneven cobblestone streets. Add an element of charm and an exaggerated sense of beauty. Let yourself fall into a happy state of daydreaming. Then, take a mental snapshot of that image.
That image will probably pale in comparison to the little village of Montefioralle, Italy.
Montefioralle is a small, medieval village in the Chianti region of Tuscany surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. It’s about an hour’s drive south of Florence or about an hour and a half east of Pisa. The drive there is filled with country roads, otherworldly views, and seemingly hundreds of small town traffic circles. When navigating, its easy to tell where you took a wrong turn. Though, the inadvertent detours end up being half the fun.
When I first walked through the village walls, I giggled. Practically, involuntarily. That smile stayed plastered on my face for the entirety of the day. Though that may also have been the wine, but I’ll get back to that in a minute.
Walking around Montefioralle feels as if you've walked onto the most pristine and intricately crafted movie set that you could ever imagine, only to find out that it isn’t a set. It is real, and there are no movie cameras.
Everything here seems to be designed with a carefree grace, crafted slowly but surely over hundreds of years.
Each of the gardens in the village are creatively constructed, but one piece in particular drew my attention. This home owner combined a large tree stump with potted succulents to create the image of a “succulent tree”. How fun would this be to try?
Montefioralle is the sort of town where there is only one restaurant and only one coffee shop. However, the real crown jewel is the local, family-owned winery just a few steps away. The winery, Azienda Agricola Montefioralle, is owned by the Sieni family. They are as sweet as they are welcoming, and also very talented winemakers. They are just the people you would feel lucky to stumble across in Tuscany, let alone anywhere in life.
A little while ago after some online research, we just so happened to stumble across their winery. After setting an appointment, we spent an afternoon meeting some of the family members, getting a tour of the vineyards, and of course, doing a wine tasting.
Wandering around Montefioralle makes for a fantastic day, but the real treat is in meeting the Sieni family and experiencing a little bit of what life is like at the winery.
Check back in later this week for more on the winery visit, as well as an interview with Lorenzo Sieni, speaking about his family’s winery!
What: Montefioralle, a Tuscan village
Where: The Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy
Where to Stay: Florence
When to Go: Summer or early fall
Time it Takes: An entire day, take your time and enjoy it at a slow pace
What to See: Wander the town, but more importantly visit Azienda Agricola Montefioralle Winery