Driving through the Chianti Region
Having driven from the Val d’Orcia the day before, we had spent the night at the farmhouse attached to the Castello, which puts on a buffet breakfast in the morning for guests. It was a beautiful spread of boiled eggs, porchetta, cheese, bread, yogurt, fresh figs, three different kinds of cake and a few other things I can’t even remember!
After a very filling breakfast, we started our mini tour of the area. We started off driving south towards Radda in Chianti, however turning east to Volpaia, a small castello and a few restaurants on the top of a hill.
We then backtracked to Panzano, first stopping in Pieve in Panzano to see a small church outside the township of Panzano.
We then explored Panzano for a hour or so before having lunch at Cantinetta Sassolini where Deane had the best pumpkin risotto the previous year. This time we were too early for pumpkin so she had the saffron and leek risotto instead. I had potato ravioli with mushrooms and sausage and Marce had a ragu taggliotti. Everything was great but the dolci was even better! I had my standard tirimisu, Deane had a beautiful coffee cheesecake with chocolate and aniseed sauce and Marce had what tasted like a panna cotta with wild berry sauce. We finished the meal with machiattos with cocoa. Strong, but good! (Italians don’t drink cappuccino after about 11am)
Before heading back to our farmhouse, we made a quick stop in Montefioralle. As it was starting to get late, we didn’t do too much other than stroll around the very beautiful (and not busy) streets. We only saw a handful of other tourists the whole time we were there. Perfetto!
In the evening we went into Greve for the wine festival. For 10 euros you get a (real) wine glass and seven wine tastings. Though in reality you get more than seven tastings if the people running the wine stalls don’t stamp your book (which rarely happened). In the end, I lost track of how many we had and Deane only had one stamp in her book after she asked for one as a momento. Best wine festival ever! Near the end of the night most of the stalls were closed down but you could go to the main stall and try any of the wine that was left. All you had to do was say a number between 1 – 70, representing the 70 wines on offer. To break up the wine tastings we went to a restaurant along the square and had a couple pizzas. It was definitely an improvement on the meal the night before! Marce drove us back to the fattoria (there was no way I was driving!) and there was no fashion show this night. Boo!
Our 10 day trip to Italy included: two days in Rome, an overnight in Orvieto, two days driving around the Val d’Orcia based in Montepulciano, two days in Chianti based outside of Greve in Chianti, 3 days and 2 nights in Cinque Terre, a stopover in Pisa and two days and nights in Venice.
To read more about our time in Greve in Chianti, including a wine tour at Castello di Verrazano click here.