Saturday, 9 November 2013


Tuscany is just really lovely. No one has ever said anything bad about it ever. I overuse words like "enchanting" when I'm here quite a bit.

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Last time I was in Tuscany, I was a youngish backpacker seeing Europe on the rails, which meant mostly big cities with occasional forays into the countryside. While I highly recommend taking public transportation pretty much anywhere, sometimes it's just easier to rent a car and really see the countryside.


We stayed at a lovely agritourismo called La Lucciolala, just outside the ancient hilltop village of San Gimignano. It was so quiet and at the end of a rather rutted dirt drive, but a good jumping-off point to explore some small towns and villages in the region.

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Not only do they have lovely views tucked into the hills, they make their own wines.

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Chianti wines aren't necessarily my favorite, but, while in the Chianti region, it's time to drink Chianti. Most of them weren't half-bad, with some having an overpowering astringency that I dislike.

But, eh, part of the charms of traveling with family is keeping a steady buzz to be able to deal with each other with manners and grace, and that was the plan we all stuck to.

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My favorite thing about this trip was the farmhouse-style dinners. The hillsides are practically slathered with rustic little farmhouses willing to feed you. You don't get a choice of the menu, but you get served with a big group, family-style. The food was always fantastic, and I found the local white wine, while not so popular, was pretty drinkable. My favorite discovery was a blood-red tomato and bread soup. Totally rustic peasant food, but I couldn't stop eating it.

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