Student space

Field Trip to Chianti

For our first field trip of the semester, the students spent the day in the Chianti region of Tuscany. We visited ruins of an ancient castle in the middle of the woods and an organic vineyard. We drove up to a castle that would have had an amazing view if it hadn’t been for the dense fog that day. Finally, we visited Etruscan tombs and the small village that they were in.

The castle ruins were incredible to look at and see how much of the stones are still in their original positions. Yet slowly, nature is beginning to reclaim the area where the castle once stood. As a student on the Sustainability Track, I found it very interesting to see the juxtaposition of the remnants of humanity with the nature that has begun to slowly creep back in. We were able to go inside the structure that used to be the chapel of the castle and see the area where their fountains used to be.

We visited an organic vineyard, where Alex, the owner, showed us some of the planting and growing techniques that he uses for his grapes. We went inside and learned about the grape pressing process, and about the process in which the wine ages in a barrel for a certain period of time depending on the type. After learning about the winemaking process, we tasted three of Alex’s wines! Chianti wines are what Tuscany is famous for, as the Chianti grapes only grow well in a certain type of soil.

After a delicious lunch with even more of Alex’s wine, we drove up to another castle set on a hillside with views extending far into the distance…except for the fog which didn’t allow us to see this incredible view. We entered four different Etruscan tombs and learned about their structures, and then we explored the small village next to the tombs.

This field trip was a great experience because we got to see a version of Italy that we wouldn’t have known to experience on our own. Everything was so beautiful, and it was a great day!

Abby Smith

Siena School for Liberal Arts student