In a search for peace and quiet, I headed Southwest from Florence, to the small town of Tavarnelle Val d’Elsa, billed on Ostello Chianti’s website as the heart of Chianti Country. It did not disappoint, offering rolling Tuscan hills, verdant and filled with olive groves and vineyards. The town itself is on a hill, which offers great views. It also makes for very tough runs, no matter which direction you go in, and even if you only run round town, unless you really want to run up and down one or two roads. My legs never quite recovered from pushing the pace down from the medieval village of Barberino Val d’Elsa, and up to Tignano.
Town has a great pizza place, Godipopolo, a supermarket and well-appointed tourist information centre, with a bustling town centre (unless you go during siesta time). Bear in mind that the bus to/from Florence should cost €4.50. If you buy a €1.50 ticket, that’s for the Florence area, and is the wrong ticket. Though the friend (‘friend’) who did that wasn’t checked.
If you go, the town feels very small, but you can get everything you want, and the walk down to Barberino (about 20 minutes) is well worth it.
Really, I just want to show you some photos.