Il Chiassale, near Rapolano, is situated in a distinctive location where green wooded hillsides give way to entirely different surroundings known as the Crete hills. The countryside is both lunar and sublime. The hillsides are decorated with sunflowers, wheat fields and fragrant pastures as well as numerous impressive vineyards. In ancient times, about one million years ago, this area was the border between the ocean and the land. The soil of the Crete hills is therefore, in many cases, still rich with sediments from ages past. Starting from the north, in the Province of Siena, we first encounter the Chianti, its hilly slopes covered with olive trees and grape vines. To the west stretches the Elsa valley, unfolding beneath the sun and crowned by San Gimignano's towers. At the heart of the province lies the urban settlement of Siena and the nearby thickly-wooded Montagnola. Following the Cassia thoroughfare, known in Medieval times as the Via Francigena, we encounter the Arbia valley and the Crete hills. Towards the south of the province the Valdichiana flanks the Val d'Orcia where Monta Amiate marks its southernmost point.