Gaiole in Chianti
And nearby castelloes
Gaiole in Chianti (pop. 4,780) is an ancient market town, home to the headquarters of the local cooperative Agricoltori Chianti Geografico on Via Mulinaccio 10.
Beside wine tasting Gaiole has little to offer, but it is a good base for visiting the impressive castles between the Arno and Siena. Just to the west are the walls and imposing donjon of the well-preserved 13th-century Castello di Vertine, one of the most striking sights in Chianti.
To the east of Gaiole is the ancient fortified village of Barbischio, and 3km south on the SS408 is the impressive medieval Castello di Meleto with its sturdy cylindrical towers. From here the road continues 4.5km up to the mighty Castello di Castagnoli, guarding a fascinating little medieval town in a commanding position. And 10km south of town is the most famous of all, Baron Ricasoli's Castello di Brolio