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Gaiole in Chianti to Lecchi in Chianti

· 1 review · Hiking route · Gaiole in Chianti
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  • Pieve di Santa Maria a Spaltenna (bear right ~0.4 km)
    Pieve di Santa Maria a Spaltenna (bear right ~0.4 km)
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
m 450 400 350 300 10 8 6 4 2 km
Chianti condensed: walk through the world renowned Meleto vineyards of hilltop Castello di Meleto, visit the villages of Rietine and Lecchi, and wander through vineyards, olive groves and shady woodland. 
Distance 10.2 km
4:00 h
303 m
237 m
504 m
309 m

Today’s walk is wonderfully varied, taking in the best of the Chianti region on tracks, paths, and minor roads.  There are plenty of opportunities for views as the trail winds it’s way through sloping vineyards, open ground, hilltop villages, scrubby woodland and forest paths.  Make your way up to the world-renowned Castello di Meleto, and descend into the valley below via the village of Rietine.  Enjoy some shady forest and vineyard walking before emerging into the village of Lecchi where you can enjoy an afternoon drink or espresso and pastry at the local Enoteca. 

**If you are staying at Hotel Le Pozzi di Lecchi you will be walking past it at approximately 9.3km. Please be aware of thios so you do not have to walk back. If you wish you can walk into Lecchi for dinner.

Some, but not all, of today's route follows painted markers on rocks and trees - there are some hard to spot turn offs and a section on faint forest path so we really recommend using the GPX tracks on your phone to ensure you stay on route.  

Author’s recommendation

If you’re interested in the wine of the region make sure to book a wine-tasting or guided tour of Castello di Meleto; a hilltop castle typical of the Chianti region surrounded by famous vineyards.  You can pre-book a tasting or meal at the restaurant here on the link in the section below. 
Profile picture of Catherine Allan
Catherine Allan
Update: October 21, 2020
Highest point
504 m
Lowest point
309 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 2.26%Dirt road 12.21%Forested/wild trail 67.53%Path 4.41%Road 9.06%Unknown 4.49%
0.2 km
Dirt road
1.3 km
Forested/wild trail
6.9 km
0.5 km
0.9 km
0.5 km
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Safety information

The terrain varies from tarred roads, rough tracks, and wide gravel tracks.  On some occasions there is no pavement beside the road so please beware of vehicles (driving on the right-hand side) of the road. 



Tips and hints

Food & Drink:

We recommend bringing snacks with you or provisions for a picnic lunch and plenty of water as there is nowhere to eat along the way until 10 km into the walk.  Here you will find the village of Lecchi which has a small Enoteca (wine bar and café). 

Once arriving in San Sano the only options for dinner are at the restaurant at the Hotel Le Pozzi where you are staying or


A point of interest:

Castello di Meleto:



Church San Sigismondo on Via Antonio Casabianca in Gaiole in Chianti (354 m)
43.468491, 11.433061
43°28'06.6"N 11°25'59.0"E
32T 696804 4815717
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Centre of Lecchi or at Hotel le Pozzi di Lecchi

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Facing the Church San Sigismondo on Via Antonio Casabianca in Gaiole TURN RIGHT then TURN LEFT and follow the road (Via Spaltenna) ascending on the right-hand side of the church.  Continue STRAIGHT ON up this road for 300 m. 

0.30 km – The road curves right after the house of the left-hand side of the road.  Continue STRAIGHT ON the road with brown signposts for Pieve di Santa Maria a Spaltenna and follow the red and white painted markers along the tree-lined road. 

0.40 km – BEAR RIGHT as the tar ends and follow the track to the right-hand side of the large boulder with the metal sign on it for Castello di Spaltenna. 

0.50 km – BEAR RIGHT as the track leads into a small car park then continue STRAIGHT ON in ~20 m keeping the vineyard on the right-hand side and fence with olive trees on the other side on the left-hand side.  (Do not bear right in the car park over the cattle-grid into the vineyard.) The track descends through the vineyards with red and white painted markers on the wooden posts.

0.70 km – At the bottom of the vineyard BEAR LEFT over the cattle-grid through the fence and continue to follow the track as it curves to the right. 

0.80 km – Descend on track and cross another cattle-grid into the vineyard then TURN RIGHT and follow the track with the vines on the right-hand side.

1.00 km – After descending for ~50 m with a fence on the right-hand side TURN RIGHT onto the track between fences on either side with red and white markers on the posts. 

1.10 km – At the edge of the fenced track continue STRAIGHT ON to ascend slightly with vines on the left-hand side. 

1.20 km – TURN LEFT and follow the track as it descends towards trees ahead between vineyards.

1.30 km – TURN RIGHT at the first turn off and follow the track ascending slightly to pass the farm building on your left-hand side. 

1.60 km – At the T-junction in the track at the farm buildings TURN LEFT and follow the red and white markers to pass in front of the farm buildings.  Bear left after the Santa Maria shrine and continue STRAIGHT ON with vines on the right-hand side and trees on the left-hand side.

2.00 km – TURN RIGHT at the telegraph pole in front of the house then TURN LEFT to pass the building on your left-hand side with vines on the right-hand side.  Follow the track as it descends to the road. 

2.20 km – As the track descends with the fence on the left-hand side keep an eye out for a rusty coloured square grid gate in the fence with red and white painted markers on the wooden posts.  Pass through the gate onto the embankment above the road and continue STRAIGHT ON down the path on the embankment towards the small road bridge ahead. 

2.25 km – On reaching the road TURN LEFT onto it then immediately TURN RIGHT to cross the small road bridge following the road sign for Monte Lucco (11 km). Continue STRAIGHT ON the road ascending slightly passing the Castello di Meleto building on your right-hand side.

2.60 km – After passing the restaurant on your right-hand side TURN RIGHT to follow signposts for Castello di Meleto and the red and white markers on the tree-lined road. 

2.90 km – Follow the road as it curves left at signpost for Castello di Meleto (ignore the track straight ahead) and continue STRAIGHT ON.

3.30 km – Arrive in the car park of the castle and continue STRAIGHT ON through it. Just before the first building on the left TURN LEFT before it onto it following the red and white painted markers and wooden signpost for Viganove (50m).  Walk along the tree-lined drive to the villa ahead.

3.60 km – Pass the villa on your left-hand side and continue STRAIGHT ON.

3.80 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON and ascend where the track splits (another track descends on the right).  In ~100 m continue on the main track, ignoring a faint track on your right, to pass a building on the right-hand side. 

4.10 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the main track following the red and white painted markers passed the buildings on the right-hand side. 

4.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the main track as a track goes off to Valtellina on your right. 

4.50 km – On joining a tar road TURN RIGHT onto the road with buildings on your right-hand side. 

4.80 km – Where the road splits in Rietine TURN RIGHT and walk on with buildings on your left-hand side. 

4.90 km – Keep right on the road as you pass through hilltop Rietine on your left-hand side.  Pass the last building on your right-hand side and continue STRAIGHT ON to the track with olive groves below on your right-hand side. 

5.10 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON as a track goes off to the left with buildings on either side of you.  Ignore another track off to the left in ~100 m. 

5.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the main track passing the private property signpost to follow the painted markers with a fence on your left-hand side.  Keep right on the main track and follow the painted markers.  In ~100 m ignore the grassy track at an exposed area of bedrock on the path. 

5.50 km – TURN LEFT onto another track and continue descending, then BEAR LEFT into a vineyard. 

5.60 km – At a track junction in a small clearing (with a wooden hut on your left-hand side) continue STRAIGHT ON downhill as the track curves to the right.  Follow the track for ~900 m. 

6.50 km – Join another track and TURN RIGHT to follow it as it curves sharply to the right. 

6.70 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON passed a gated track on the right with house up ahead on the right-hand side.  Continue on the track ignoring a track on the left in ~200 m. 

7.10 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON as a track ascends on the right with a painted marker on the boulder.  Continue to follow the track as it zig-zags downhill. 

7.60 km – Cross the small bridge over the stream and continue STRAIGHT ON to the road. 

7.70 km – After the bridge curve right on the tarred section of track, then TURN LEFT onto the road.  Take care of vehicles on this section as there is no pavement. Cross the road and look for red and white painted markers on the trees opposite on either side of a faint path, TURN RIGHT onto the faint path then continue following the faint dirt path as it ascends through trees. 

7.85 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the faint path as it curves right uphill with a section of exposed bedrock underfoot. 

7.90 km – On reaching the corridor through the trees with the telegraph wires overhead TURN LEFT and walk along the corridor with the red and white painted markers on the boulder ahead. 

8.00 km – TURN RIGHT on reaching the telegraph pole with the red and white marker on it to turn off the corridor and into the trees with red and white markers on them.  Then BEAR RIGHT out of a small clearing on the narrow path. 

8.20 km – Look out for a ~3 m wide patch of exposed bedrock on the track underfoot and BEAR RIGHT uphill to a track above passing a red and white marker on a boulder on the right-hand side of the path.  TURN LEFT onto the track and follow the track. 

8.50 km – BEAR RIGHT as the track splits – do not walk down into the vineyard.  Then in ~50 m BEAR LEFT downhill to pass between vines on the track. 

8.70 km – At a T-junction with Moci villa ahead TURN RIGHT then follow the track as it curves left (do not go into the vineyard on the right).

8.90 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON between large stone boulders with signs for Le Pozze di Lecchi Hotel-Restaurant. 

9.30 km – Pass between the wine barrels on either side of the track and BEAR LEFT to cross the bridge in front of the hotel (This is the Hotel Le Pozzi di Lecchi. If you are staying here you do not need to continue on.)  After crossing the bridge continue STRAIGHT ON to go up the old cobbled track through trees.  There are green and white painted markers further up the track. 

9.60 km – BEAR LEFT to stay on the main path with a wall on the right-hand side just after a smaller path goes up to the right.  Pass the shrine to Santa Maria in the wall in ~50 m. 

9.80 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON as a track goes off to the left. 

9.90 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON with the house on your left.  Follow the road as it curves right then steeply ascends to the left between houses.

10.00 km – At the T-junction with a road TURN LEFT onto the road and descend into the village of Lecchi.  Continue STRAIGHT ON through the village until the first road junction on the right-hand side. 

10.20 km – Your walk finishes here in the centre of the village. 



all notes on protected areas


43.468491, 11.433061
43°28'06.6"N 11°25'59.0"E
32T 696804 4815717
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


This depends on the time of year you are walking; if travelling in the spring or autumn it can be cool in the morning but it soon heats up in the late morning and afternoon so make sure and bring some layers with you.  During the summer months the area can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms so waterproofs are also essential in case of heavy showers.  In the heat of the day suncream is essential and a sunhat is highly recommended.  Otherwise normal hiking gear in a ~25 litre rucksack will suit.  Either sturdy walking shoes, or light hiking boots are suitable. 

Questions and answers

Question from Zee Francis Maddah · April 21, 2021 · Community
What kind of trees are in this photo in Chianti? Lined by the road. Thanks.
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Answered by Catherine Allan · April 21, 2021 · Macs Adventure
These are [Mediterranean] Cypress trees, they are a very common sight in Tuscany.


Dave Pietruszynski
July 24, 2018 · Community
Can recommend stopping at Bar Rinaldi Palmira in Lecchi (at 10.2km). Hot day and we needed a break from the sun. The staff are warm and welcoming. Pay heed to using GPS on this hike. We inadvertently extended our tour because I stopped watching the screen, but recovered. In July bug spray helps, and for a short distance long pants on the forest trail helps with the nettles. We startled six roe deer in the deeper forest. Sat by beautiful stream in the shade and ate our packed lunch at 7.6km. The winery around Castillo di Meleto was full of vineyard workers.
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Photos from others

10.2 km
4:00 h
303 m
237 m
Highest point
504 m
Lowest point
309 m
Scenic Geological highlights Healthy climate Linear route


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