A pretty hamlet in the Chianti hills, Chiesanuova is a frazione of San Casciano Val di Pesa, and is part of the città municipale di Firenze. The town's beauty is a different one that most Tuscan towns - it doesn't have a medieval centro storico, an art-filled cathedral, or narrow cobbled lanes. The history of Chiesanuova is more recent, but it's appealing nonetheless with splendid panoramas of the Chianti countryside marked by woods, olive groves and grape vines, with country lanes lined with umbrella pines or cypress trees.
Located five kilometers from San Casciano Val di Pesa, Chiesanuova is in the Chianti wine zone. It was located at a crossroads between Florence and Siena, and a road to Volterra. It developed around a podere, rural farm complex, and is cited in a document from 1759 for the building of the "new church" by the Padri del Carmine of Firenze. That chiesa nuova is now the church dedicated to San Donato. It remained an agricultural town, and still cultivates wine grapes, olives, and grains along with other earthy products.
The town expanded when the provincial road opened, so the older buildings and most of the town's businesses, are there -the SP 4 Voterrana. It grew in the '60s and '70s for its location, with more families building homes here while commuting to Florence for work. The views to the city are especially pretty at night. It is a quiet place but with daily needs cared for by the cafes, restaurants and shops. It is in easy reach of San Casciano, Florence, the Chianti towns, and Poggibonsi, plus other Tuscany towns farther afield.
Another peculiarity is that unlike most other towns in Italy, Chiesanuova has no religious festivities, only lay traditions. One is tied to the town's favorite food, the schiacciata, so be sure to go to one of the stores to get some and give it a taste, and wash it down with a local vintage.
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