God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Greve in Chianti--Going Upscale?

Greve in Chianti holds a special place in my life. How could it not after having lived there for a year, making friends, knowing its nooks and crannies, calling it home? It has a forever corner of my heart--there will always be a longing, even when I am happy somewhere else.

Greve, like so many small Italian towns, remained changeless for many years. The same merchants, the same celebrations, the same habits and the same ways of doing things. But, this year, we saw many changes since we left last summer. Some had been in the works since we lived there--things move slowly--but were completed this winter--well almost.

A new piazza has been born with a different type of store and ambiance than the historical Piazza Matteotti which is the heart and soul of Greve, drawing visitors from around the world for years.

This new piazza, which is anchored by the Albergo Casa al Sole and lies across the street from one of our favorite places to eat, Enoteca FuoriPiazza, still has many empty shops but what is there now signals that changes are on the way for this sleepy town.

A Modern Art Gallery

Beer? In Chianti Territory?

And even a
In back of this piazza and in back of the Coop is another new little place to eat. It has a small and attractive interior and outdoor tables on the patio that extends from the back of the Coop.

Along Via Vitttorio Veneto (SR 222/the Chiantigiana), there are new additions keeping company with the gelateria, shoe repair and other oldies.

This is a toy store with cool ecological friendly merchandise.

A take away prepared food shop.

The new Wine Museum. Its entrance is actually behind the Via Vittorio Veneto.

The little wine museum in the Cantina below the Coop is no longer there. It has been moved to this new venue. The museum has a €5 entry fee.

Along Via Roma--the street that leads out of Piazza Matteotti--there are new shops along with the always there barbershop, laundry, small vegetable stores etc.

There have been a couple of changes in the established restaurants. Nerbone which is on Piazza Matteotti now has tables on the second floor veranda; however, it is not an extension of the restaurant below. Instead it is a place to sip a glass of wine and have some light refreshment. It's nice on a warm evening to sit there and watch whatever is happening in the piazza below.

Gallo Nero, which is on the corner leading into the Piazza, had been known for its pizza and its typical Tuscan menu. Over the winter, it completely revamped itself and now is rather upscale with rich red walls, white table clothes and fancy table settings. It specializes in grill meats. It no longer has pizza.

But, the biggest, most welcome change is this...........

In the winter months, how I would have liked to have had this available. Inside drying racks and clothes draping over the radiators became really old after a while.

So, this was Greve summer 2009. By 2010 there will be more changes--maybe even the new multi-level garage will be completed so that the piazza can go back to offering charm rather than serving as a parking lot. The new library will be completed which will be nice for the residents. If the economy improves there will be new stores in the new piazza and surely there will be more.

Greve-in-Chianti is on the move.


Rita said...

Hi Jane,

I love it. Greve has arrived. We have some young, up-and-coming architects on these projects and a planning commission open to the 21st century. They are building in the style of the countryside, creating open public areas, keeping in mind the "feel" for the charm of Greve.

(Did I show you the modern apartment complex they are building just over the hill from us in Strada in Chianti? Now, who approved that mess?)


Barbara said...

Just how long have they been working on that parking garage???

nancyhol said...

Thanks for the Greve update, Jane.

It's progress, I guess.

Jane said...

Rita, yep, I saw those apartments--the ones right before you go up the hill to Strada?

Barb--I think that the structure will be ready next summer but since we will not be there I will not be able to report. I'll ask our friends.

Nancy, thanks for enjoying it.

Alexandra said...

The new buildings in Greve look very nice. Actually I have noticed that a lot of piazza's are being restored in much of Tuscany. It's a good sign - more public spaces... but why not more flower pots or green space?!