Chianni - a village in Tuscany, Italy
Chianni has 1457 inhabitants (2011) and lies 284 meters above sea level, overlooking the Valdera valley, in the western part of Tuscany, and within short driving distance to Pisa, San Gimignano, Volterra and the Mediterranean.
The village is quite unspoilt by tourism and offers well-preserved architecture dating back to the 12th century. There is a beautiful and well-attended church, winding streets, small squares and magnificent views of the Tuscan countryside.
There is also a lively trade and very welcoming people who love to tell their own stories and experiences - even the newcomers who do not speak Italian. You get far with a few Italian words, gestures and a smile. Also at the two bars in Chianni, where you - in addition to a quick espresso, a glass of wine or a drink - also can buy sandwiches, cakes and delicious ice cream. As everywhere in Italy, there are a lot of men hanging out at the local bars - as the bars have a very important social function in Italy.
Excavations in Chianni have uncovered settlements dating back to the Etruscan era (800 BC). The city was originally a Lombard castle, dating back to when the Lombards occupied large parts of Italy in the 6th - 8th century. In the archives of Pisa can be found records of the city from year the 1086th In the Middle Ages the city was thrown around like a ball between powerful cities such as Florence, Pisa and Volterra. Today Chianni is in the province of Pisa.
Culture and Nature
The annual wild boar feast 'Sagra del Cinghiale' in mid-November lasts for days and attracts people from far and near, arriving in buses, so they do not have to worry about how they come back home. The city decorated with strings of lights, there are parades, live music and stalls on all the small squares with food, drink and sale of local products.
Wine Route 'Strada del Vino Colline Pisane' goes from Casciana Terme via Lari - Cappanoli - Terricciola - Peccioli - Chianni - Lajatico - Palaia - Crespina - Loranzana - Fauglia to San Miniato. Along the way, there are countless opportunities to taste and purchase the 3 DOC wines (Denominazione d'Origine controllato) produced in the area: Il Chianti, ll Bianco Pisano di San Trope and Il Montescudaio.
There are also plenty of opportunities to taste and buy olive oil in the area. The olive harvest starts in the end of october and ends around christmas time. Everybody drives around with their harvest to one of the many oil mills (Frantoio), that is working around the clock at this time of year. You can buy the new olive oil 'Olio Nuovo' anywhere, and it is highly light green, very tasty and quite different from the olive oil, we know from the local supermarkets in the rest of the world.
The beautiful road from Chianni to the Mediterranean goes through Santa Luce. There is approx. 35 km to Vada, where there is a lovely beach. But there are of course many other beaches, like Viareggio, which also has a beautiful promenade and a vibrant nightlife with restaurants , bars and discos.
Close to Chianni is another beautiful mountain town, Rivalto, which is famous for its chestnuts festival 'Marroni di Rivalto'.
From the Fi-Pi-Li (the main road between Florence-Pisa-Livorno) take exit Pontedera / Ponsacco. There are many roundabouts, but follow the signs to Casciana Terme / Chianni.
Chianni is about. 29 km south of Pontedera and 7 km south of Casciana Terme.
GPS to the public parking: 43° 29' 6.339"N - 10° 38' 37.584"E
The nearest airport is Pisa, but you can also fly to Florence, Bologna or Rome.
Distances by car from the airports: Pisa ‘Galileo Galilei’ (PSA) – 43 km. Florence ‘Peretola/Amerigo Vespucci’ (FLR) – 80 km. Bologna ‘Guliemo Marconi’ (BLQ) – 173 km. Rome ‘Fiumicino/Leonardo da Vinci’ (FCO) – 298 km.
CPT  is the bus company in Pisa and province - see 'Extraurbano'. Invernale = Winter. Estivo = Summer. Feriale = Working days. Festivo = Sundays and public holidays.
From Pisa airport to Chianni it costs approx. € 85 - it is possible that there is an additional surcharge for luggage and Sundays / holidays. CO.TA.PI  (Pisa Taxi Cooperative) tel. 050 541600
It is possible to get around by public transport, but you can also rent a car for your vacation, so you can really get around and see the area. Order the car from home, because you will normally get a better deal.
Be aware that the Italian traffic and driving style might be more frenetic than you are use to. Therefore, one should consider taking out an extra insurance policy that eliminates deductibles.
The dominant church in the city, 'Pieve di San Donato', in Piazza della Chiesa, towers over the city and let bells ring loud and clear every full and half hour. Both the church and the crypt below it is worth a visit. Ask the priest for more information - he is happy to show you around and is often seen on the street. The building was completely rebuilt and expanded in 1812, when the tower was equipped with an apse, which are fitted with frescoes by Antonio Gaioni. The church has a single nave and 4 chapels. The altar dates from the late 1600's.
Sanctuario della Madonna del Carmine, located in the outskirts of Chianni, is built on top of a church dating back to the 13th century, dedicated to Santa Maria. In the 17th to 18 century it was a rather popular destination for pilgrims, but was in the second half of the 18th century converted into a hospital that could accommodate the many victims of a severe cholera epidemic. There are only accessible to the public on special religious occasions.