Radda in Chianti is a beautiful medieval town enclosed in large defensive walls. Located up on a hill between the valleys of Arbia and Pesa, it has ancient origins. Inhabited since the 9th century, Radda was officially mentioned in a document from 1002. Its stone facades adds to the medieval look characterized by narrow streets and tower buildings.
It is no wonder that Radda served as the capital of Chianti; its prime position served as a point of coordination between its neighbors Gaiole and Castellina. The picturesque panorama, the small town feel, the calendar rich with cultural events and the natural flavors of the land make Radda one destination that should always be part of an itinerary in Chianti.
The medieval village and its castle were part of the fief of Count Guidi, though this did not offer much protection against the constant feuding and invasion from Siena. In the mid 1200’s Radda was established as the headquarters of the Lega di Chianti, long before they commercialized in wine…though records show this area was already exporting wine to England in the 1600’s and the Etruscan 2300 years ago had cultivated grapes for wine.
A visit here will include a visit to the restored Convent of Santa Maria del Prato and an in depth tour of the production of Chianti Classico. The careful and attentive restoration of has exalted the long history of the convent as the religious site while creating a space dedicated to teaching and sharing about wine and food in Chianti. The area, well documented in the early 1100’s has its origins in the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary and its importance grew as a point of pilgrimage.