Greve in ChiantiApril 7, 2017 in Italy
Setting off early we plotted a course via Sienna. We'd hoped to find somewhere to park up and look around its beautiful piazza but the road leading to our planned parking spot was closed and van sized spaces were at a premium anywhere within cycling distance of the centre, so we drove on. On the approach to Sienna, the countryside had changed. The hilly terrain of the area known as the Crete seemed more tame and lush than we'd been used to, although there was still evidence of landslips. Small watercourses wound their way in and out of view irrigating the forests and fields.
We were impressed with the free stopover at Greve in Chianti. The rich vegetation of Tuscany seemed to be accompanied by an increase in affluence of those living there, as compared to those further south. The paved car park was well maintained, with a kerb dividing it from a grass border, covered in daisies and other wildflowers. There were emptying and filling facilities in a good state of repair as well as a full set of recycling bins. It sat in the shadow of a low hill growing Chianti vines and we could hear horses neighing in a nearby field. Access the village was via a riverside walkway that passed by a well equipped play park.
There weren't many vans when we arrived, but being the start of the Easter holidays, it busied up soon enough. There were Italians, Germans, Swedish, Belgians, Dutch and of course us Brits staying over. Children were staying in a few of the vans and used the space to play on their bikes and scooters. After spending so much time touring in the winter when we were often the only van around, we were struck by a sense of security in numbers and a community feel, staying alongside so many other vans just outside this village. A book called The Spirit Level writes about how equality is better for everyone and we guess that the ease we felt staying here had a lot to do with seeing that the residents had good facilities.Read more