Skip to main content


The province of Siena is a treasure trove for prestigious DOCG wines: from Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to San Gimignano's white Vernaccia. Best known to the bigger audience and closest to the town center of Siena lay the hills of Chianti Classico. A wine not to be confused with the simpler Chianti (which can be produced in a much wider area of Tuscany). The black rooster (Gallo Nero) logo of the Chianti Classico links back to a much cited medieval legend involving the towns of Siena and Florence and their conquest of the hills dividing the territory between them. 

The Chianti Classico vintner's association has overworked the design of the famous logo and will present it to the world on the 19th of February during the 2013 preview of the Chianti Classico collection (from the February 18-20 the Stazione Leopoldina in Florence). 

Chianti Classico logo and bottles at the preview 2012 in Florence
A great logo for a great wine: Chianti Classico Collection in Florence

It will be interesting to see the interpretation of the famous logo, that can be traced back to the coat of arms of the Chianti league, a Florentine medieval military alliance based in the towns of Radda, Giaole and Castellina in Chianti (all three are part of the province of Siena today). The alliance's symbol of the black rooster is best remembered in Vasari's fresco at Palazzo Vecchio and has from there moved on to travel the world on the neck of millions of Chianti Classico bottles. With such a legacy, it will be interesting to see whether the overhaul of the rooster logo just means a few tweaks here and there or whether the Chianti Classico vintner's association had the courage to go the whole 9 miles.

You insist on spending your weekend in Siena? Rightly so. The Chianti Classico Collection preview is on invitation only, so you'd have a hard time to smuggle your way in to meet your favorite wine producers. Nothing the like in Siena, where everyone can join the wine tasting organized by the Enoteca Italiana at Santa Maria della Scala museum. Siena's archaeological museum is located in the SMS museum complex, but is for the time being closed (partly so because of the severe financial crisis the city finds itself in due to the Monte dei Paschi nightmare). The temporary free access of the archaeological collection on a February weekend is therefore even more welcome. 

SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA MUSEUM Saturday 16th of February, 2013
the cinerary of Montescudaio 
The archaeological section of the SMS will open on Saturday afternoon from 3 to 6 pm and entree will be for free.  Guided visits and the tasting organized the Consorzio di Montescudaio cost 3.50€ per person. So no Chianti Classico here, but plenty of Etruscan history to make up for the absence of the famous rooster (between you and me, the cinerary depicting an Etruscan family drinking wine, seems much more intriguing than the Gallo Nero legend). The guided visit and tasting are part of the initiatives linked to the 'Vino - Between Myth and History' exhibition (at the Medici fortress and in selected museums of the province of Siena).  

Popular posts from this blog


Even if you came to Siena for art not shopping - it will be hard to resist all the leather bags, Italian shoes and designer sunglasses on via Montanini, Banchi di Sopra and Via di Città - the main roads making up Siena's corso or high street.  Pilgrims, merchants and the clergy travelling to Rome already did their shopping and money changing on these roads 800 years ago, so just follow in their footsteps for a break from the best museums  in town.  CLOTHES - ITALIAN FASHION A GOGO Many of the brand names and stores won't be new to you. Most of them can be found in every bigger Italian town, and some of them all over the world.  BENETTON: a must. No other Benetton store is looking anything like the one in Siena. Think  Renaissance building and frescoed ceilings .  TEZENIS, INTIMISSIMI, CALZEDONIA, YAMAMAY are Italy's main underwear chains for reduced budgets. If you travel with a teenager don't miss out on Tezenis (I'm far beyond


Planning to dine in style or just thinking of a panino on piazza del Campo? There is great food in Siena for every budget. Try the Tuscan delicacies prepared  with fresh local  ingredients by nice people in great locations and splash out on the wine list. SIENA'S BEST RESTAURANTS - Tuscan fine dine Tre Cristi Siena's oldest restaurant is also one of its best. Founded in 1830, restaurant Tre Cristi has kept its beautifully frescoed interiors but applies a light contemporary approach to ( otherwise often heavy)  Tuscan cooking. Some of the best seafood in town, Tre Cristi is also happy to cater to vegetarians .  Closed on Sundays. Vicolo Provenzano 1/7. Phone: +39 0577 280608 Email: Osteria Le Logge Even though Le Logge holds on to the osteria in its name, the restaurant off piazza del Campo in Siena's former ghetto is far from simple. Its elgeant location and refined makes of it one of  the most famous restaurants in Siena (Gianni Nannini is


Siena sports some of the most photographed sights in the world and you won't need a map to find them. But apart of piazza del Campo and the famous cathedral you'll be able to hunt down  countless lesser known  churches, museums and sunset spots which are off  the main tourist track. BEST PANORAMA VIEWS OF SIENA A nice sight in its own right, the walls of Siena's Medici fortress are also a great location for panorama shots which include the  San Domenico church, the cathedral and a big slice of Siena. For a close-up of the same panorama walk on to the rear side of  the  San Domenico  church, which is  de dicated to  Saint Catherine . Even without a fancy wide angle you'll be able to pack the cathedral its never finished extension and Torre del Mangia into one pick.