San Donato & Montecatini Alto

Trip Start Sep 10, 2008
Trip End Sep 21, 2008

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Flag of Italy  ,
Saturday, September 13, 2008

After breakfast, we coach through the rolling Florentine hills to San Donato village, established in 1402.  The scenic views envelope the senses like a Renaissance painting.  Visit Fattoria San Donato, a farm with 200 hectacres of vineyards and olive trees.  The Frenzi family, owners since 1932 gladly welcome us for our agro-tourism experience.  We are provided a basket, flea hat, gloves and scissors.  Then hike through vineyards to collect our grapes.  Back at the farm we pour our grapes into individual barrels to stomp.  It's delightfully messy fun and will lend you some great photos.  Later tour the wine cellars and olive mills.   We end with a wine tasting and gourmet 3 course lunch including wild boar.

That's what the brochure said.

There was no plan B since it doesn't rain in this part of Tuscany.  At least it hadn't since June.  Until today.  It rained, and rained, and rained, then rained some more.  The vineyards were a muddy mess, so there was no grape collecting.  There was no grape stomping. There was, however, wine, and lots of it.  The first bottled was uncorked at 11am, and before we knew it, none of us were bummed about the rain any more :)

So we ate a fabulous lunch, drank way too much, did a little shopping, and headed back to Montecatini in the afternoon.

A few of us broke off from the group and decided to explore the spa town of Montecatini.  I heard it wasn't a very pretty city, but we thought it was great.

We went back to the funiculare and spent the entire day at Montecatini Alto & explored the Old Town.  It rained off and on, but we made the most of it.  We strolled the cobblestone streets, found this walled stadium of sorts, chatted (as best we could) with some locals ... this sweet little old lady tried so hard to tell me something for the longest time but I never did have any idea what she was talking about.  Finally she smiled, waved, and walked up the hill to her house, hand in hand with her husband.  That's a memory I'll have forever :)

We didn't want to leave!  So we stayed for a nice little dinner.  Apparently my ten phrases of Italian were more than anyone else new, and our adorable waiter didn't speak English, so somehow I became the translator.  I embraced that in true Cliff Clavin style and had a great time being the go to gal for a little while :)

I don't know what time we ended up getting home, but I do recall having had a bit to much wine yet again.  Tomorrow the group goes to Florence, but I'm thinking I'm going to skip that and work off what's left of my jet lag (and certain hangover).

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luna1bianca on

I would really love some additional information on your visit to the San Donato Eco trip. We are travelling to this region in September and have been unable to source this informaiton on line. Hope someone can help.
Thanks, C.

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