Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 10 - A drive through the Chianti Area - Quercegrossa, Radda, Volpaia...

Sunday, July 12,2009

It was so nice sleeping in this morning. The Tuscan sun filtered through the sheer lace curtains of  our bedroom window.  This is paradise....We enjoyed a coffee and some breakfast on our little patio then set off on our driving tour of the Chianti area. Our first stop was Quercegrossa, a little town just out the back way from La Foresta.  The town is very small and has a grocery store! YAY!!! We then headed for Castellina in Chianti and walked around, bought some groceries for dinner at the coop and visited the tourist office to check emails. We used our laptops and one hour cost us 1 euro for the two of us...pretty cheap. We had another coffee at a sidewalk cafe and toured the little village. Castellina is definitely worth a visit. It has a charming old main road and there are Etruscan tombs nearby.

We then set off for Radda in Chianti.

This is a picture of me knitting on a bench in Radda with a little kitten keeping me company.  I like to promote knitting in public.  It is NOT an old lady craft!

Looking through a brochure from the tourist office we found  a picture of a beautiful view of Radda. We agreed that it would be nice to try to find the vantage point that the photo was taken from, so showed the picture to our waitress. She looked at it confused and proceeded to tell me that she didn’t think it was a picture of Radda but to wait while she consulted with two of the young people who lived in the town. They began arguing with each other in Italian and I have no idea what was going on but they were surprised that the book said it was Radda when  they were convinced it was Volpaia.

And so Dan and I decided to head over to Volpaia as we were now curious ourselves. Higgins of course knew the way and guided us there. We travelled up the road to try to get a view of the town from above. Dan parked in an open field and we walked down a path through all kinds of bramble and bushes to discover a beautiful view of the rooftops of Volpaia ...yes this was definitely it! After arguing over whose ankles were scratched more, (no question that mine were...) we found our way back to the car. When we drove back down the road, there was another beautiful view of the town directly in front of us.

We just love having the flexibility to travel off the beaten path and not worry about time. Most of the guidebooks that we bought before we left Canada didn't even mention these towns. Rick Steve’s guide which we really like, only highlights some of just need to find them on your own.

Our next stop after driving through Gaiole in Chianti , was the Brolio Castle. The castle rises in the middle of boundless vineyards with spectacular views. At the beginning of the 12th century, the powerful feudal family of the Ricasoli from Cacchiano took office on it. Still today the castle belongs to their descendants. We took a tour then went for a wine tasting at the store and bought a couple of bottles- one to enjoy while in Italy and another to have at home New Year’s Eve, when we remember how fortunate we have been and begin planning our next year’s vacation.

We made our way from there to San Gusme, a quaint little medieval village. By this time the light was beautiful as it lowered in the sky. Dan took some beautiful pictures.

We started getting hungry for dinner, so headed back to La Foresta. Lucia, always smiling and happy, greeted us. Dan was looking forward to a cold beer after driving these very windy roads. I had put a couple of beers in the freezer and forgot to remove them, so oooops.....they were ruined but Lucia saved the day and presented him with 2 cold Italian beers!

We toasted to tomorrow – Lucca and perhaps dinner at Dan’s barber’s cousin’s restaurant...if we can find it!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...