Category Archives: Italy

Italy Revisited

Our friend was engaged to an Italian woman and they decided to have the wedding in Italy. Aw shucks, twist our arms. Day 1 After about 13 hours of travel we arrived in Bologna. We went straight to the car rental place and found that Thrifty couldn’t give us a manual shifting car, we had to settle for a brand new automatic Fiat 500 which had only had 5km on it. Ok, fine. We found the car and got SIM cards then started driving to Fiesole where our friends had rented a renovated old church. On the drive I discovered … Continue reading

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Day Fourteen, Last Day

The power went out on our last day at Le Torri. Then it came on again, then it went out again. Back and forth. Needless to say, we didn’t have much internet access, so it was hard to plan our day. The guys were contemplating a cooking class in Firenze, but they hadn’t heard back. Plan B was to head to Siena again. I went to the Le Torri office and called about private a class. The man said he’d have to check with the chef and call me back. About an hour later the class was scheduled, another day … Continue reading

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Day Thirteen, Brunello = Yum

Need I say more? Well, I guess if you’ve never had Brunello I should elaborate. And there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t because Italy doesn’t export a lot of it to the US. The winery was in Montalcino, Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona. Our hostess was another very interesting woman (like the one in Montespertoli). She had lived all sorts of places around the world and spoke about seven languages, making us all feel inferior. On the other hand she also made us feel quite at home, like honored guests. The wine was fabulous. She poured four wines at once so … Continue reading

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Day Twelve, Florence Seconds

Another day trip to Florence. We finally made it to that special sandwich shop, the Oil Shoppe. My friend Shawna recommended it. Apparently its all she lived on when she did her studies abroad for six months. The sandwiches were quite good, all four of us devoured them happily. After eating we saw the Firenze Duomo. I was really blown away by the outside, striped with pink, white and green marble. Very ornate, which I love. The inside, however, was not so impressive. I think the inside of the Siena Duomo wins, and the outside of the Firenze Duomo wins. … Continue reading

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Day Eleven, Easy Day

We had a pretty calm, easy day. We drove into town for snacks to make a picnic lunch and brought them back to Le Torri. We set up outside and munched our goodies for a while before discovering the swarm of mosquitoes who were also happily munching. Later we went to a small winery in Montespertoli. The woman who poured for us was quite charming. She was from Spain but had been living in Montespertoli for about seven years. She taught us how to properly pronounce the city’s name and a few other words. Before dinner we hung out by … Continue reading

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Day Ten, Our Anniversary

Our first wedding anniversary (Oct 5th)! We began the day by trying to go to Coop (grocery store) to pick up a few things, but it closed the minute we walked up to the door. Most stores close between 1:00 and 3:00 throughout Italy. If you forget that fact, its quite annoying. It got us a couple of times. We ended up eating lunch in Montespertoli (that’s monti-SPARE-toli, singsong), which was the closest significant town to Le Torri (our agriturismo, if you don’t know what that is, why aren’t you reading these in order?). Guess what we ate? Yep, pasta … Continue reading

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Day Nine, Firenze First

First full day in Tuscany – off to Firenze (Florence, why do we call it that?) to walk around and visit the Uffizi gallery. We attempted to have lunch at a specific sandwich shop, but we didn’t have enough time before our scheduled museum visit. And thank goodness we had tickets ahead of time, that line was long!!! The museum was very big with lots of art, and walking around was so tiring. Those places are always so dry, they just suck the energy right out of you! The older paintings from the 14th century with gold paint became quite … Continue reading

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Day Eight, Off to Le Torri

Sadly, we left our gracious hosts at Cancabaia and drove two and half hours south to our next destination, Tuscany. We were staying at

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Day Seven, Home on the Range

I actually woke up early and went for a run. We brought our running shoes and some workout clothes thinking we would try to exercise, and this was the first (and sadly last) time I busted them out. Running down the country road so early was quite peaceful. The only ones awake were me, some dogs and some chickens. When I got back I showered and everyone else started waking up because this morning we were going to get a tour of the Pamresan farm! Bruno showed us where they turn the milk into cheese; then the tubs the cheese … Continue reading

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Day Six, Touring Parma Food

Our first morning at Cancabaia we awoke to damn cow moaning at 5:38am. One of the dogs chimed in and howled along, which I have to admit was kinda cute because the cow already woke me up anyway. I managed to fall back to sleep and we when finally got up there was a wonderful breakfast waiting for us. It included Parmesan cheese (young and old) from their farm, breads, jams, fresh milk, fresh yogurt, Parma ham – they treated us so well! After filling our bellies (maybe too much) we headed off to a day of touring. First stop: … Continue reading

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