Post card pics in southern Tuscany
Trip Start May 14, 2012
35Trip End Jul 04, 2012
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Where I stayed
There were one or two calamities on the day as well.
We set Sophie for Montepulciano, which is about 100kms from San Gim. That got us into the area, but we were advised to try and do the area from west to east to capture the best of the light. So we proceeded onto Pienza, famous for its pecorini sheep cheese. Anne loved the town and described it as the best she'd seen in Italy so far
We unfortunately had a small accident in the parking lot which set us back a bit in terms of time. I clipped the local baker's van while parking and caused a bit of a dent. I expected that I'd have a mad baker come charging down the road, but everyone was very relaxed. (We are finding that the Italians are in fact incredibly relaxed and friendly, by the way.) We soon had a small crowd around the car and one after one, they tried their hand at interpreting the insurance forms which I had to fill in. In a combined effort, we got it done and set off again.
On the way to San Quirico, we decided to seek out a famous post card scene which I am sure most of you have seen. It's the one with the cypress trees lining a winding road leading up to a beautiful villa. Even for Sophie, and with help from the tourism office, finding Lucciola Bella was extremely difficult and frustrating, but it was well worth it once we got there and we got some good shots.
It was here that my second calamity happened. We had stopped at an old castle at Chiantera which is one of the vantage points for the Lucciola Bella shot
Next stop was Montalchino. This area produces the famous Brunello wines. It is an area of 16 square kilometres with about 250 producers, so very concentrated. We had lunch at a place called Vineria de Potazzine. Anne had the Risotto al Brunello Radicchio and I had the Salsicce e Fagioli. After that, we walked through the town and did a tasting at Enoteca Barlanzone where we met Gail, who presented a very interesting tasting. She is an ex-South African who left Cape Town in 1979
It was already early evening when we made our way back towards Montepulciano with the sun behind us. On the way we stopped for a few classic shots: a church and farmhouse on a hill (another popular post card), some bales of lucerne in a field, a well known clump of cypress trees and the one of the town of Montepulciano falling off a hill with San Biagio Church below. Sounds crazy I know, but it's really great to get these shots.
We then spent about an hour walking through Montelpuciano. It is also well known for its wine as well as its pecorino sheep cheese. It is a stunningly attractive town, full of vistas, odd squares and corners, with lots of churches. The main street in Montepulciano seems to go on (steeply) forever, and there are great shops and enotecas.
It was getting late after a busy day and we made our way home to Villa Ducci arriving back at about nine for dinner and in time to see the moon rise over San Gimignano. See the photo below.
Today, we will shortly be making our way to Il Vicario, a villa close by where the owners, Katia and Fulvio, will be taking us through a Tuscan cooking course. We have chosen the advanced version so I shall have to watch Anne closely!
Master Chef, here we come!