Posts Tagged ‘montepulciano’

Hilltowns in Tuscany

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

montepulciano-duomoaltarSomedays it all starts to look the same.  But if you quiet your spirit and look closer, each of the hilltowns we have visited thus far, have their own distinct flavor.  Each of them was  an important oasis for traveling either to Rome on a pilgrimage or to the Holy Land on a Crusade.  The hilltowns were markers and way-stations leading the greatest of personages-such as Charlemagne– to the lowliest laborer on their faith-quest dating from the 700’s.  There are even walls, catacombs, and art remaining from the Etruscans 900 b.c.

These walled-cities were fortezzas and places of refuge for the travelers and later places to hold off the sieges of waring tribes and provences.  Much greater populations were in these towns then (Montalcino pop. 5000 was said gargoylesquiricoto be around 15,000).  All sorts of services rose up to fill the needs of sojourners, and they were also surrounded by farms, orchards, and herds to sustain the populace.

Montepulciano, Pienza, San Quirico d’Orcia, Bagno Vignoni (hot springs) and Cortona (of “Under the Tuscan Sun” fame), San Angelo en Cole, Buonconvento, and of course our own Montalcino, may seem like notches on our belts, or another set of photos to label, but listening closely we hear the voices of the so many as they struggled to live, love, and hammer out an existence in their own time in history.

If stones could speaks and walls talk…

Wine Tasting – Will They Kick Us Out Of Tuscany?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

caparzowineryWhat a great day!  Our awesome driver, Alessandro, picked us up on our doorstep and whisked us off to a day of wineries, meandering, and gorgeous scenery.

We visited the Caparzo Winery for a great, informative tour (with the cutest guy) and tasting!  All of the famous Brunello di Montalcino wines must age a minimum of 5 years and only contain sangovese grosso grapes from the immediate area!  Then we toured the Barbi Winery and indulged again.  We had a mighty fine lunch on their property including an awesome “bread soup,” taglietelle, and sausage with white beans.  We REALLY got winetastinginto this.

We were ferried to Montapulciano and dropped off at the top of the hill-city, so we could meander down.  Another unique, but totally Tuscan outing.  Steve didn’t have to drive and we were escorted via Alessandro’s Mercedes mini-van on rolling hills outlined in cypress and vineyards. Viva ITALIA!