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A Few Photos from Chianti

by on March 18, 2010 · 6 comments

Hello from Rome,

We left Florence yesterday after a full 4 night visit and arrived in Rome this afternoon via  Eurorail. Train travel here is quite pleasant and first class tickets don’t cost an arm and a leg so you can really relax and enjoy yourself while going from city to city. So we are in Rome now, resting in the hotel room after a walk around the city and a visit to the cat sanctuary which we love.

Our hotel is Albergo Senato, which was recommended to me last year by a Cookie Madness reader. So far, it’s wonderful — and not just because the wireless works!  I’ll be posting more thorough reviews on TripAdvisor.

But back to Florence. We enjoyed our entire stay, but our favorite part of the Florence trip was Wednesay, which is the day we spent riding through the hills of Chianti with Guido Bandinelli. Guido is a licensed driver and sommelier and he knows everything there is to know about Chianti, as he grew up in the region. He’s an expert on Chianti Classico AND olive oil, and I learned so much riding in the back of his van and listening to him tell us about the various vineyards and olive oil factories.

Guido’s tour included plenty of scenery, but the best parts were the stops at small, award winning vineyards where Guido has personal relationships with the owners. I’m mentioning all this because if you find yourself planning a trip to Tuscany and would like to spend a day in Chianti, Guido is the one to call. His prices are very reasonable and if you split them with a friend, they’re downright economical. We were lucky to have him all to ourselves.  We also got plenty of personal attention from the employees and owners of the various wineries we visited.

So if you need a guide, Guido is the one to call.

Okay, o to a few random photos. I’ll be posting the rest on Flickr when I get home, but here are a few highlights from Chianti.

This place is actually right outside of Florence.  It’s a beautiful cemetary and memorial to Americans who died in Italy during World War II.

This is the Corsini family vineyard, our first stop on the way.  It’s owned by a real prince and princess who work at the vineyard.  We didn’t get to meet them on this trip, but we did try their Chianti Classico and their olive oil, which was absolutely incredible.  We bought enough to last us for quite a while, thank goodness.  It’s truly the best olive oil I’ve ever tasted.

This is the Corsini family villa.

After tasting wine and olive oil at Corsini, we went to lunch at a restaurant in Sant’ Andrea in Percussina which hosts a winery and museum dedicated to its former resident, Machiavelli. It’s also the exact location where vintners meet to get the seal of “Classico” which is the black rooster.

After lunch at the Machiavelli vineyard restaurant, we drove to the third vineyard, Fattoria San Michele a Torri where we tasted a Super Tuscan, Chianti Classico and Chianti.  Because of their location, this vineyard can produce both Chianti and Chianti Classico.  They also make an excellent Vin Santo and a high quality olive oil.   Here’s Fuzz among the wine barrels.  I think I have 100 pictures of Fuzz hanging out in wine cellars.   Poor kid.  I hope she learned something about wine making.

Well, that’s all for now.  Will post more pictures soon.  We’re heading for dinner in the Trastevere, which is a neighborhood in Rome I have not yet visited.

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Published on March 18, 2010

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna March 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I am spending the month of July in Italy this summer and cannot wait! We have rented a villa in Porto Santo Stefano, but will be traveling all around. Keep the recommendations coming! Have a wonderful time on the remainder of your trip.

Amy March 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm

The cat sanctuary! I had no idea it existed, until my sister and I accidentally stumbled upon it after we left the Vatican. At first we thought it as just an accidental lot of stray cats. So weird.

Jennifer March 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Cool photos! I’ve been stalking you all week, checking for updates, LOL. I love to hear about travel, especially to food-related places (okay, that doesn’t make sense, where do they not have food, LOL, I guess what I mean is, places famous for GOOD food)

Cookie March 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm

You’re so lucky! Hopefully one day I’ll finally be able to visit Europe. I can’t wait to try all the baked goods!

Katy Glass March 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm

there’s a new San Crispino near the Pantheon in the piazza Maddalena, and you’re very close to Da Gino which is by the Parlamento in vicolo Rossini
the kosher bakery is around the corner from the Largo Argentina
Enjoy! wish I were there

Robin March 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I loved Rome and wished we had spent more time there. My favorite moments were sitting on the Spanish Steps (again with my latte and croissant with some nutella) watching the city begin its day. Vendors put out their wares and nattily dressed businessmen and women whizzed by on Vespas. We enjoyed a meal at Ristorante alla Rampa – the outdoor scenery reminded my friends of being inside the Venetian in Las Vegas because it was so picturesque. I had to keep reminding them, we were in the actual place. We ate at Ponte Panione near the Piazza Navrona and enjoyed glasses of wine with cheese at Cul de Sac. Crispino’s gelato was good, but I liked Giolitt’s better. They gave huge scoops at Squisto Cook. The Borghese Gardens is a great place for a nice long morning walk.I absolutely welled up in tears in the Vatican. My Special Ed. class had decided the Pieta must be the most beautiful statue ever carved when I showed them the things I wanted to see on my trip. (Of course, they didn’t get to enjoy David as much as I did!!)

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