Castellina is one of the three castle towns in the heart of Chianti. From its hilltop position, it dominates the area. The area is rich in barbaric, Roman, and Etruscan history. Deriving from the Latin fons Rutilus (“clean spring”), the small village of Fonterutoli is located on the panoramic road between Castellina and Siena.
Market Day: Saturday Morning
Following are Judy’s recommedations for Castellina.
In front of the Hotel Palazzo
Castellina in Chianti
Duccio Fontani is a wonderful man who sells wonderful organic herbs that he grows, harvests, and packages in easy-to-pack glass jars. Duccio began his organic garden after years of working in wineries. He wanted to be his own boss, and get back to the land his grandfather had abandoned to work in Siena. You can find Duccio during the summer from 11 am to about 1 pm in front of the hotel selling his herbal mixtures. They’re all from his garden, and the blends change with the seasons. He uses no salt. For groups, Duccio does a tour of his gardens with tastings. Ask for information when you see him. He also is at the Fierucola in Florence in Piazza Santo Spirito once a month.
Osteria alla Piazza
Localitá La Piazza
A fabulous place to eat, overlooking vineyards, and away from the hustle and bustle of towns. I love the pumpkin-filled pasta with wild boar sauce. Their fried vegetables are fabulous, sometimes they include fried mozzarella. Their menu is nicely translated; the only things I don’t like are the recipes with the mixed vegetables. The artichoke crepes are a great starter, but save room for the incredible desserts!!!!! Great wine list. From Panzano, head towards Castellina. After passing over a tiny bridge, take a sharp right and follow it up the the borgo La Piazza. You will see the restaurant on your right; parking is ahead on the left.
Antica Gelateria Delizia
Via Fiorentina 4,
Located just outside the main part of Castellina in Chianti, Antica Delizie has become a mandatory stop for every visit to Chianti! Simone and his wife Chiara have created an ice cream lover’s paradise.
Next to traditional flavors, you will also find some of Simone’s creativity. Last trip I had Miele e formaggio, a creamy rich honey and cheese gelato, with surprising little bites of Pecorino cheese inside! Another wonderful flavor was the Chocolate and peperoncino. The house specialty, Antica Delizie has tiny bits of brittle broken up into it!
Along side the large selection of gelato is a case with gelato-based desserts. Try the Tiramisu or a cup of strawberry gelato with whipped cream frozen into a to-go glass. I was fascinated by the Mascarpone and Nutella dessert and the Florentine Zuccotto!
This will become your gelato break in Chianti!
Via delle volte, 14/16
Reservations a must!
Tiziano and Fabio have made their enoteca-turned-restaurant into one of the most fun places in Chianti. A medieval cantina brought to life by Tiziano. Hidden away in the back passageways of the city, you follow the signs under the archways. They have just acquired a new chef, and I can’t wait to go back! This is not just done for tourists. The late diners are locals–Tiziano’s fan club. They are known to break into song and party until the early morning hours!
Località Pietrafitta, 41
Castellina in Chianti
On the road between Panzano and Castellina, you’ll find Pietrafitta on your left. It’s a family affair run by Alberto and his daughter Gaia. They’ve recently added an inn to the restaurant, La Locanda. Fresh pasta, meats from Dario Cecchini in Panzano, and outdoor dining.
Antica Trattoria La Torre
Piazza Umberto I
Located in the upper piazza in Castellina next to the city hall,this is my favorite stop for lunch. Real food, nice mom’s, and a small covered terrace to eat outdoors.
For more recommendations see Divina Cucina’s dining guide online at www.divinacucina.com