Of ancient origins and medieval appearance, Radda in Chianti was the capital of the Chianti region. Enclosed by mighty defensive walls, the village stands on the top of the hill that divides the valleys of Arbia and Pesa. What captures visitors is the breathtaking view, the typical atmosphere of a small Tuscan village, the calendar always full of events and the natural flavors of this land.
Radda in Chianti, a spectacular medieval village, was once the capital of the Chianti region. Surrounded by mighty walls, the village is located on the top of a hill that divides the valleys of Arbia and Pesa.
The area around the village has ancient origins, as evidenced by the archaeological area of Poggio la Croce where the remains of an ancient village have emerged.
At the fall of the Roman Empire, in the 5th century, small rural agglomerations had already formed in the area which still exist today; these towns were Castelvecchi, Monterinaldi, Volpaia and Radda itself.
Between the 9th and 10th centuries the area of Radda saw the birth of the feudal society which involved the setting up of the villages.
The archaeological area of Poggio la Croce is located near the road that leads from Castellina in Chianti to Radda in Chianti. It is placed on the top of the aforementioned hillock. In this area a multi-layered archaeological site was discovered in which the most ancient human presences in the Chianti area have been identified.
The area has been inhabited since the Copper Age. In addition to that period, testimonies of a shepherds’ village referable to the end of the Bronze Age have emerged. In addition to the previous ones, the area appears to have also been inhabited in the Proto-Villanovan period (11th century BC), of which the remains of two buildings but also the foundations of an access gate to the village, a fortification and some remains of a wine press.
Sitting at an outdoor table on the terrace of some farm or farmhouse, we contemplate the enchanting panorama of the Chianti area in the light of the sunset. On the table a freshly uncorked bottle of that red and full-bodied juice that takes its name from the hills where it is born.
Radda, located in the heart of this area, is part of a landscape shaped by the slow action of the hand of man, the result of the dynamic relationship between nature and culture and which, for this reason, becomes the home of a community and its history.
The village, historically the extreme defensive bulwark of the borders of Florence towards the Sienese territory, has not undergone any changes in the urban layout over the centuries, maintaining the beautiful elliptical plan, marked by the walls and traces of the two ancient access gates. It offers itself to the visitor by allowing himself to be quickly crossed on foot along the sinuous main street, but it leaves us the possibility of a more thoughtful journey in the network of alleys and slips, which lead to the discovery of the most hidden corners.
Of absolute importance, just outside the town, we find the former Convent of Santa Maria al Prato, today the seat of the Foundation for the Protection of the Chianti Classico Territory, with the 14th century church which houses a beautiful late 15th century wooden altarpiece, by the painter Neri di Bicci, depicting the Virgin enthroned with the Child, flanked by Saints Niccolò, Giovanni Battista, Maddalena and Antonio Abate.
PLATE SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS For this week’s recipe we propose a simple but equally tasty first course. We are talking about Pici all’Aglione and in particular those prepared in the village of Radda in Chianti, in the province of Siena. Pici, typical of Tuscany, are a type of handmade pasta similar to spaghetti but wider and consequently even more co …
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