Italy: A Love Story, Day Six

April Williams Destination, Travel 0 Comments

This was a bittersweet day, a day where we would be leaving our new found friends, Marco and Cristiana, and a day we would be traveling to the part of our trip I had been most anticipating.  This day was the day we would be traveling further into Tuscany and making our way to Montepulciano where we would be staying at an agriturismo.  If you’re unfamiliar, and I assume that you might be, an agriturismo is, essentially a B&B on a working farm.  It can be a farm of any kind, livestock, vineyard, olive grove, chickens, produce or any combination of those.  We were staying at Le Caggiole, an agriturismo that had olive groves and a vineyard.  I had booked this place solely from the pictures online and the fact that they offered a cooking class, something that Vince and I had determined was one of the main things we wanted to do while in Italy.  I had been dreaming about this place and was really looking forward to our time in the country.  But first we had to leave our friends.  Sigh.

That morning as we sat at breakfast with Cristiana, we chatted about our usual things, business and politics and the differences between Italy and the states, art, family, Cristiana’s new haircut and how much she didn’t like it, I did, etc.  We made sure to eat slowly so we could soak in our last conversation with her, for now anyway.  When breakfast was finally over, we packed up our things and as we made our way out Cristiana very lovingly told us that she didn’t have the English words to tell us how much she had enjoyed having us stay.  I told her I felt the same way and wanted her to know that she and Marco had really made an impression on my heart and I couldn’t wait until we could come back to Florence to spend more time with them.  With melancholy in our hearts we made our way down the stairs and as we walked past her front window she stuck her head out and bade us one last goodbye saying, “Ciao, ciao, ciao, ciao, ciao!”  With a full heart, I yelled back, “We love you, Cristiana!”  I meant that, and, if asked, that is probably my favorite memory of Italy.  Whew!  Now that I’m kind of teary, on to Montepulciano.

Because Montepulciano is very much in the country, we had to take the train to Chiusi, rent a car and then drive a half hour to Le Caggiole.  The train ride was beautiful and uneventful and in the mid afternoon we arrived into Chiusi with all our luggage and began our search for the rental car company.  We weren’t exactly sure where it was and after a bit of a walk and many turn arounds we finally found it only to discover that it wouldn’t be open again for another 2 hours.  That’s Italy.  Oh, well, we decided we needed to find a place to hang out a bit and were able to find a restaurant that would take us.  After a long lunch we made our way back to the rental company, waited a bit more and then they opened and we were ready for our first foray into driving in Italy.  Well, Vince was anyway, because he was the only one with an international driver’s license and knew how to drive a stick.  I know, I’m lame.  Believe me, this was not the time to learn.  If you’ve ever been to Italy you will know that while the culture is wonderfully laid back, that does not include their driving.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that is exactly the opposite.  Let’s just say my husband was a little nervous and after much cursing and a mini lesson on how to put the car into reverse, which was causing problems, we were finally on our way.  Except for the stop by a policeman who checked to make sure he was allowed to drive, my very stressed out husband did quite well and we made it safely to Le Caggiole safe and sound.

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I have to tell you that Montepulciano is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.  It’s breathtaking.  This was the view outside our window…

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I’m not exaggerating, right?  That evening we wandered into town, Vince was very thankful that you couldn’t drive within the walled part of the city.  This is the view from the parking lot just outside the walls as the sun was setting…

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I told you it was gorgeous.  And here are some of the things we discovered our first night there…

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We decided to eat in a tasting room/restaurant and ate below ground level surrounded by bottles of wine and candle light.  A perfectly wonderful place to eat dinner and a perfectly wonderful way to start our time in Montepulciano.

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