Tuesday, May 11, 2010


View from our Terrace - Hotel Athena

One of the views from our terrace

Chianti Classico Region

Olive tree
Tuscany!! Chianti Classico Region

Isodi Winery - That's Roberto our guide on the right, that's the only picture I have of him

One of the rooms inside the winery

Driveway of the winery - it is lined with sage and rosemary

Village of Vertine - Brian forgot his sunglasses

Church inside Vertine - the poorest church we have seen, but maybe my favorite due to its simplicity

One of the owner's terrace



Site of Etruscan Tomb -500 BC

One of the poppy fields -from a moving vehicle - they really do exist
moving vehicle poppy field

castle in Staggio

Marcello restaurant owner in the middle and Ken on the Right

I'm a day late posting this. Our hotel in Siena had wifi, but they charged us, so we decided not to post yesterday. Siena and Tuscany is amazing!!!! We loved it.

Yesterday we did a tour of the chianti classico region in Tuscany. It started at 9 am and went until 4 pm. We had a great tour guide Roberto. This is crazy, but Ken in the picture above is from Lexington, KY. He is a professor at UK. He is in Italy with graduate students, but had 2 days by himself, so he decided to go to Tuscany and ended up on our day trip. What a small world.
We first started at a small winery named Isodi run by twin brothers. It was this amazing little winery right out of the 17th century. The brothers could not have been any nicer. The only English they spoke was, "Thank you very much."
We then wen to the medieval town of Vertine, established back in the 7th century. 25 people still live in the tiny little village. The town had amazing views, of course.
We then headed to an Etruscan tomb dated back to 500 BC. Our tour guide has an interest in archeology and helped with the dig, so he was excited to show it off. It was very well-preserved.
We then went to lunch in a charming little town named Staggio. The restaurant is run by a local celebrity named Marcello. Several years ago, he won an international cooking competition. He specializes in Tuscan style food. He came out to our table several times to talk to us and read two of the poems he has written. He also did not speak any English, so Roberto translated. His little trattoria only had 3 tables in there, so when it fills up, he sends people away. He likes cooking for smaller crowds so he can come out and talk to everybody. The food was AMAZING! We started with spaghetti bolognese, which I thought was the meal, but then he brought out codfish and sausage. I don't usually like fish, but all of the herbs and everything else he used made it amazing.

We then went back to our hotel and sat up on the terrace for a while and enjoyed the view, and then went back to Il Campo and sat and ate gelato (that was our dinner). We were still stuffed, so didn't eat anything after that. We had an incredible day. Later in the evening, we went back out to our terrace and sat and talked with our New York friends for a while.
So far we have been really fortunate weather wise. They have predicted rain every single day, but we've yet to get rained on. It has always started out kind of cloudy and overcast, but by noon-ish, the sun pops out.

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