Saturday, October 11, 2014

Running through vineyards

Yesterday was our first full day in Tuscany and we made the most of it! After breakfast we walked through Greve and poked into a few shops along the way. There is so much wine here, all produced within a few miles! We then walked out of town up a steep hill to Montefioralle. The driving situation here is pretty crazy and we are glad we're car-less! Two lanes on the brief straightaways turn into one on the frequent hairpin turns, with mirrors attached to trees so that the drivers can have a moment's notice if someone is coming the other way. It looks nerve-wracking to be behind the wheel, and part of the reason we came to Tuscany is because we love red wine! Anyway, we walked around Montefioralle for a bit and enjoyed the ambiance of a walled medieval town. We found Amerigo Vespucci's family home with the family crest over the door.

Morning in the vineyard

The hills of Tuscany

The charming gate at the edge of the agriturismo

On our walk into town

View of Greve as we walked into town

Enoteca! Tuscan wines, yes please!

These guys (Damon included) run wild in the hills of Tuscany!

Historic artifacts everywhere

Hey kids! Always remember to stretch before hiking to Tuscan hill towns!

On the way to Montefioralle, at the edge of some vineyards

We ran into some nice ladies from LA and swapped picture-taking favors with them

On the road up to Montefioralle ... hairpin turns

Almost there!

Pretty leaves

In Montefioralle, with a view of the Tuscan countryside

Taking pictures in Montefioralle


The green, rolling hills of Tuscany ... so pretty!

Narrow streets

Italy's all about the details

I love the pretty doors!

Taking a break

This is not the place for Damon's pickup truck!

Another view of the gate to Terre di Baccio. The vineyards have to be securely fenced at all times to keep the wild boars out. Apparently if they get in, they absolutely decimate the plants.


Around the agriturismo

More wild boar, at the entrance of the agriturismo

Love the view!

We walked back down into town and found ourselves at an enoteca (wine shop) that was offering a wine tasting, oh darn! The man working at the shop was super nice and gave us a primer in the differences between the local red wines. 

Wine tasting at the enoteca

After that we stopped into the town grocery store, which is about the size of a small drug store at home. We wanted to pick up some deli meats and cheeses for a light lunch. Things close down here for siesta, and it just so happened that we made it to the grocery store several minutes prior to siesta. We got in line at the deli and I placed my first order in Italian for un etto (100 grams) each of salame piccante, prosciutto di parma, pecorino rosso, pecorino nero, and tris colores olives. We took it back to the agriturismo and enjoyed it on the patio with a bottle of wine we picked up at the enoteca. It was all delicious!

Lunch on the patio

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the pool, and walked back into town for dinner. On the way home Damon challenged me to a race up the steep hill leading into the vineyards (he estimates it's a 30-40% grade). I lost by a long shot, and Damon gloated relentlessly about his victory of course!

Sipping wine in the pool, life is really rough in Tuscany!

Damon got artsy with this shot!

Dinner in Greve

Today we don't have big plans. Saturday is market day in town, so we're going to walk into town to see what that's like and then hang by the pool in the afternoon.

I made arrangements for us to hire a driver tomorrow to take us around to some of the wineries, castles, and Etruscan tombs in the area. That should be fun!

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