First Half of Our Tuscany Trip

We drove over from Monaco on Saturday and drove directly into Milan so that I could pick up my Fendi bag, which I had left for repairs.  Unfortunately they weren’t able to repair it, but I’m convinced that a good cobbler can mend it properly. It was 3 hours into Milan, and we had a quick bite and then got back on the road. After 3hr 45 min we arrived to the villa Le Pratola. It’s absolutely stunning, with ridiculous views from the pool!

Le Pratola sunset

Sunday we woke up & ventured into town around lunch time….of course it was 2pm and everything was closing for lunch. We ended up finding a nice spot & enjoyed lunch and good wine. Unfortunately, I was quite sick with a cold/flu/tonsillitis.  At this point swallowing was extremely painful, so life in general was unpleasant. I took some DayQuil and tried to make it through dinner that night, which was amazing!!!

I put on my finest dress bought in Milano (one of my favorite 30th birthday gifts from David) and we ventured into a small town called Colle di Val d’Elsa. It was about 1 hour from the villa, and just on the other side of Siena. Gorgeous small restaurant at a Relais & Chateaux called Arnolfo. Here are some pics from the dinner:

Dinner

Masseto 2001 wine Nice logo Eating

The following days we explored the area. Saw the Meleto castle, and then went to Vistarinni where we incidentally had a wine tasting ( I say incidentally, because it wasn’t planned..and it happened that we knew the woman who was the manager at the villa).VistarinniIMG_9529 IMG_9536

For dinner we dined at Osteria del Castello (just below the Brolio Castle) and enjoyed pigeon, quail & other amazing foods. David had ordered the wine & was trying to wine produced by owners of the restaurant.  It was amazing & turns out we were sitting by the wine maker, owner & sales person for the US and Canada. They were impressed by the wines that we had ordered & invited us to come to the winery to do a tasting & visit the grounds.

IMG_9585 IMG_9581 IMG_9582

Next day we did some more exploring and ended up in a small, teeny, tiny village called Starda. Here we found a sweet little Osteria tucked away into the village and enjoyed the local dishes here.

Wednesday, we did a wine tour in Chianti with an amazing guide…Phillipo. He was knowledgeable, friendly & spoke perfect English. We went to a winery called Casalvento, where the owner performed the tasting.  She was sweet and turns out she was from Florida…Palm Beach, in fact! And it also turns out that mom & dad also belong to Ocean Reef which she’s a member of as well.  We had great conversation, and really enjoyed their wines and they eventually invited us to their restaurant for dinner on Sunday.  After that we lunched at a great little restaurant called Osteria del Panzanelle. The guide ordered all the food and all the wine, which was amazing! We finished up the day at a more traditional, smaller winery called Montevertine.  I wasn’t a fan of the wine as the last place…but of course to each their own.

The group at Casalvento Casalvento

Casalvento interior Casalvento Janus statue

grapeslunch specialities   Osteria del PanzanelleCellars at Montevertine montevertine

Thursday was a lazy day, which was quite welcome! We decided to take the Brolio wine maker up on his offer of a tour, and went in for a tasting and tour.  What an unforgettable experience!  He took us on the most incredible tour, first of the castle and then of the winery where we watched the machine crush the grapes and even got to taste some of the wines straight out of the metal vats.  The wine was just 2 weeks old, and tasted very strange, but very interesting none the less. The wine maker and the tour guide, Simona were very kind and I learned a lot from the tour.

Entrance to Castello de Brolio Brolio Castle Barone Ricasone castello Brolio Brolio Castle

Brolio Wine Maker Machine crushing grapes Wine Tour

Friday was another wine tour, this time led by a sweet woman named Alessandra. We started this day in the village of Montelcino, which was just as cute as can be (just about 2 hour drive from Gaiole in Chianti).  Definitely worth a walk-through. After that we stopped at a winery called Fanti, where we enjoyed lunch and a tasting of their wines.  It was all locally made & home cooked…and so tasty! Next we went to a small winery called Santa Giulia. After that we headed back to the villa where dinner was served by our sweet little chef who’s 78 years old and only speaks Italian. As we were starting our dinner our friends from Zurich, Toby & Vik arrived.

IMG_9952 12th century church in Montelcino

Fanti Fanti wine barrels

grapes me in the vines winery #2

Saturday we ventured into Siena. What a cool, place on a hill. It’s a bit tricky with the parking below and the city above, but we managed to figure it out. We found a lovely restaurant on Il Campo & spent most of the afternoon lounging and eating and of course drinking. After that we walked to the duomo & had a gelato, with the most perfect weather, it was a stunning afternoon! We then came back to the villa & David cooked chicken on the grill. It was another perfect day in Tuscany!

Dad and Linds Vik, TOby and David Church in Siena Duomo in Siena Duomo in Siena Piazza del Campo in Siena

Today we’ve been lounging around again, and we’ve had a bit of rain. So it’s been a nice & sleepy day. We’re preparing for dinner at Livernano with the couple who owns the winery we visited on Wednesday.

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