continued from Part II…
Matt posting now! Kate and I function as a team on most things and we intend to co-author the blog as well. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover from our time in Tuscany, so let’s not delay!
From Atrani, we took the SITA bus back to Salerno along the windy roads. The roads were bad enough in the Mercedes we took on the way there but this full-sized tour bus was enough to cause a little queasiness!
After the bus dropped us off in Salerno we headed back to the Fiumicino Airport in Rome to pick up the rental car. I had originally booked a Mercedes SL500, which Hertz had then changed to a Fiat 500 weeks before our trip. There was a lot of back and forth with Hertz and just overall confusion regarding the rental car so we were slightly worried that we wouldn’t have a car at all. Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised when we learned that our Tuscan adventures would be in a …
We made quick time from the airport in Rome through several toll booths up to Sinalunga where we met Fabrizio – the owner of the house we would be staying in. We got a tour of the house and settled in quickly. Our first stop was to the local grocery store so that we could cook at home that night.
Our original plans had us going to a wine festival in Gaiole-in-Chianti on Sunday but we looked at the weather and decided we’d rather not get rained on. Instead, we did what we do best – headed to a vineyard! We went south towards Montepulciano to investigate the Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano at Avignonesi, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
After our vineyard excursion we headed to the lovely town of Cortona. You may recognize the name from the famous book, “Under the Tuscan Sun” which was based on the town of Cortona. What a fantastic experience! We ended up eating at a restaurant that was built before Christ and housed some incredible Etruscan ruins.
Rainy weather was forecasted again for Monday so we held off on our original plans of going horseback riding and decided to hit up the spa instead! We went to the Terme Sensoriali in Chianciano Terme. It was a new experience for both of us and we hardly understood the concept, much less the language, but what a great time! We were very relaxed after the spa and a couples massage.
Day 3 in Tuscany found us going Horseback riding! Kate grew up riding horses and I had a little experience working at Boy Scout Camp during summers while I was in college. We went for a very long ride across the Tuscan countryside through vineyards and forests. We picked grapes off of the vines and loved the gorgeous Tuscan scenery.
Our guides were fantastic and they even gave Kate a wedding veil for a photo opp before we left! They run a COOP in the area working together to make the farm function and give trail rides to support the farm. It was a very cool concept and we would gladly go back again to the Centro Equestre Tre Laghi!
On the way home we stopped in Montepulciano to eat lunch in the main square and enjoy our daily gelato!
Day 4 found us enjoying another leisurely morning before heading off to enjoy the Piazza del Campo in Siena (for a whopping 10 minutes) before I threw in another surprise for Kate … we were going to a cooking class!
We made homemade pasta with Nonna Ciana at her farm house and we even met her grandchildren. It was a group of all Americans, which was slightly comforting since we were able to speak English freely during the dinner. We cooked, then wined and dined and enjoyed the warm kitchen. It was a beautiful night with a full moon when we left to drive back to Sinalunga, always remembering how blessed we were to have this opportunity!