Fields of grape vines, sunflowers, olive groves; streets of cobblestone with art and fountains on every corner; sitting around enjoying just being alive in a 14th century piazza; feeling the sunshine while smelling floral aroma in the air; drinking Chianti while in a castle or with a view of one; the bluest seas; walking the rolling hills with new friends – Tuscany
Welcome to my dream of staying in a Tuscan villa! This photo of Strozzovolpe (Fox-Strangler) was taken just a short walk from my beautiful home of the week – an agroturismo, Melograni in Chianti.
Wine Pairing dinner at Melograni in Chianti; wonderful dinner and wonderful new friends. Happy to have met some of these wonderful people on a Wilmington overnight last year! Because of a shared desire for adventure, this dream trip was possible.
My sister and I spent a full day hiking up and down and up and down the rolling hills to Strozzovolpe Castle and to a beautiful park and food truck in Poggibonsi, the closest town. While the castle was probably the gem of the day, the food truck was an exciting find since businesses were closed for the Festa della Repubblica – June 2, 1946, the birth of the Italian Republic. Porchetta pannini – yum!
Duomo of Siena
Piazza del Campo. This is where the Il Palio is held twice a year, on July 2 and August 16. Ten horses and riders, representing 10 of 17 city districts, dress up and race bareback around the perimeter of the piazza in honor of the Assumption of Mary. I went the summer I lived in Florence. The pageant/parade, the Corteo Storico, was my favorite part. I’m a Tartuca fan. Learn more here: Il Palio of Siena
I convinced my sister to walk to Castellina in Chianti…
Beautiful vineyards and views all along the way. After awhile, we decided the rolling hills were rolling mountains. A lovely Italian lady picked us up and drove us over a few miles more of ‘hills’ and told us about a festival that would begin the following day. She said we should definitely go to the kick off dinner the following night. What a reward we found at the end of our walk!
Thanks to our new friend’s suggestion, we returned to Castellina for a magic night. We quickly learned we could request a bottle from any vineyard in Castellina in Chianti as part of our wine pairing dinner.
Salute to you for reading my blog today! I’m always happy to share some of my adventures with you. If you want to hear more about my trip and adventures in Rome, San Gimignano, Florence, Chianti, Cinque Terre, the Almalfi Coast, Verona, or Venice or need info, just let me know. I love talking travel.
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If you go:
Ostella in Chianti – This is a green hostel very close to Florence and a great accomodation if you are on a budget.
Don’t miss Florence or a visit to the Uffizi while there! Although seeing the David is cool, I recommend having a rest and maybe a vino in the Piazza Della Signoria where a replica stands in the David’s original spot. There is art everywhere in Florence; my favorite church for art is Ognisanti.
When in Italian wine country, look for Enotecas in towns – wine bars. You can try many wines and decide which bottle or box is right for you. If you want cheap house wine from the town you are in, go to a local bar in the less touristy area away from popular piazzas. In town and along the country roads, look for Degustazione. Who wouldn’t want a wine tasting at a direct sales locale or local vineyard!? If you want a Chianti wine tour, I found two great ones.
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