Cerbaia sits in the center of Tuscany in the classic Chianti hills. It neighbors San Casciano in Val di Pesa in the countryside near Florence, only 20 kilometers from that great art city. The wine country of Chianti is the setting, with its golden diffused light on the rolling hills covered with olive groves and vineyards, punctuated by cypress tree-lined roads. In a word: beautiful! This is the most acclaimed part of Tuscany. The stone streets of the honey-hued Chianti towns are nearby, making for good day trips.

Cerbaia itself is a cute little town with everything you need for daily life. There are shops and cafes, a restaurant or two, banks, a gelateria, a pharmacy and meat market. The surrounding villages also have little stores, and more services and restaurants are found in nearby San Casciano Val di Pesa.

The town of Cerbaia dates back more than a millennium, with its first mention in history coming when the Pieve of San Giovanni in Sugana was cited in a document in 1019. The Romanesque abbey is still standing outside town, its crumbling but intact sculpted terra cotta lunette still visible above the door. The first bridge across the Pesa River was built here by the Signoria (lords) of Florence in 1295. The nearby Pieve of San Lorenzo on a hill in the countryside dates to the 10th century and has nice paintings and frescoes. Castles built of stone that look like they're right out of a movie set dot the hilltops all around the area. The ruins of the Rocca of Cerbaia are mysterious looking stone walls worth walking up to.

The area is lovely, with sunflower fields, miles of vineyards and gentle landscapes that postcards are made of. The tower-filled town of San Gimignano is nearby, as is Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo, and other pretty Tuscan towns filled with Old World charm.

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San Casciano in Val di Pesa

San Casciano in Val di Pesa

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Scandicci

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