Terre del Vino

The Strade del Vino Terre di Arezzo or 'wine route of the lands of Arezzo' extends for around 200km through the zones of Chianti docg, Chianti Colli Aretini docg, Colli Etruria Centrale doc, Valdichiana doc, Cortona doc and Vinsanto del Chianti doc.

That's a lot of drinking.

The recommended starting point is San Giovanni Valdarno.

The route passes Montevarchi, Bucine, Pergine and Civitella, from where a superb view of both Valdarno and Valdichiana can be appreciated from the town's fortress.

The wine route then moves onto Ambra, the ancient village of Sogna and the Valdichiana, then Lucignano and eventually Cortona.

For those who haven't been to Cortona it is a suprise to be able to see Lake Trasimeno in Umbria in the distance. It's so close the famous Battle of Trasimeno was apparently audible from the ramparts.

A marsh by all accounts at the time and not a place to get bogged down with Carthaginian soldiers hiding in the woods. It was many centuries later when the Grand Duke Leopoldo drained the zone and built his fine houses and finer wine estates.

Skirting the Umbria border Arezzo eventually comes into view.

Still a working agricultural town, the first Sunday of every month sees the important antiques fair filling the historical centre.

Turning home it's back up the River Arno and onto the Casentino National Park after which Pratomagno, San Giustino Valdarno and Loro Ciuffenna. The finish is San Giovanni Valdarno once again.