Radda in Chianti City Guide

April 2, 2013 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do

A cobblestone street in Chianti

Tuscany is famously dotted with hilltop towns that often inspire gushing declarations of affection from those who have visited – and while you can get great local wine throughout Tuscany (indeed, throughout Italy), one of the more famous wine-growing areas in the region is Chianti. The fact that Chianti is also home to several hilltop villages meaning you can enjoy spectacular views, cobbled streets, and picturesque piazzas while enjoying a local Chianti wine – well, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular area for tourists. In particular, one of the towns that draws lots of visitors each year is Radda in Chianti.

The town of Radda, as the name suggests, is located in the heart of the Chianti area, right in the middle of Tuscany. Though it’s a medieval town you see today, there has been a village on this site since the 9th century, partly owing to its easily defensible hilltop position. The town itself is incredibly small, making it a relatively quiet retreat for those of you who aren’t eager to embrace the constant buzz of a city like Florence – just know that during the high season, Radda is a very popular day trip for many travelers in Tuscany. As with any day trip destination, the mornings and evenings (before and after the day trippers) are when Radda really shines.

One of the things that can keep visitors away from Radda in Chianti is the lack of a train station. This means you’ll need to either rent a car or take a bus from nearby Florence or Siena in order to get there. Neither of these options is difficult, but since many travelers rely solely on trains to get around, Radda’s lack of train service can keep the crowds away to a certain degree. The town remains incredibly popular with wine tourists, of course, and even those drawn to the picturesque location can enjoy the local Chianti in restaurants, bars, and wine shops around town.

When you’re not wandering slowly through Radda’s pretty streets, you can take a bit of time to visit the 15th century palace once inhabited by a local politican, the palazzo that now houses the town hall. The Santa Maria in Prato convent is home to a Museum of the Sacred Art of Chianti, and Radda’s Chiesa di San Niccolo has a 15th century wooden crucifix. You can also book day trips into Chianti from cities like Florence or Siena, many of which include a stop in Radda. There’s a Chianti Region Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip from Florence, a Vespa Small Group Day Trip to Chianti, a Horse Riding Tour of Chianti, as well as many other options. Most visitors come for the slow pace of daily life and the fantastic views, however, so don’t feel obligated to do anything with your time other than enjoy it.

- Jessica Spiegel

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