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For our last day in Tuscany we debated between Cortona (e.g. Frances Mayes – Under the Tuscan Sun) and Volterra (another of the primary Etruscan cities). Volterra won. It was closer, it had fewer tourists. We enjoyed it a lot. Not as much as Sienna, but more than Montepulciano. It was certainly classically Tuscan with […]


The second stop of the day on our wine excursion was Montalcino, Home of Brunello di Montalcino – one of our favorite Italian wines. After having been to Siena, Monteriggioni, or even Certaldo Alto, if you came here for the architecture you were not going to get wowed. Here is the Duomo from the side. […]


There were really two reasons for us to visit this city. One was Rosso di Montalcino, the other Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Both are hearty Italian reds. We were interested in taking in the old Etruscan and Roman history and architecture along the way. We enjoyed the city and had a glass of Vino di […]

Finding one’s way

About fourteen years ago we visited northern Italy (Genoa, Pisa, Firenze) and southern France (Aix en Provence, Bonnieux, St. Paul de Vence, Chateauneuf du Pape). Finding your way through an old town like Aix with a spouse navigating with a map can be a real test of a marriage. I do not recommend it. The […]

Le Torri Dinner

Wednesday night was the night of the traditional Le Torri dinner. The Cantini family (papa Paolo, mama Maria Pia and our host, son Gabriele) not only welcomed us with a beautiful buffet on Saturday when we arrived, but also offered a dinner mid-week that we happily did not pass up! We don’t have photos of […]


Wow! We’ve heard so much about Siena for so many years that I was convinced that when we actually arrived it would be a let-down. So far, it is my favorite spot. It was amazing. You can see the Il Campo tower when you first arrive. It looks great. But when you turn the corner […]


Our apartment is on Via Poppiano. It gets its name from the local castle. We were a tad road-weary and decided not to make today a travel day but we wanted to explore – even just a bit. We decided to visit the Poppiano castle just two kilometers down the road. We had a chance […]


Monteriggioni was another stop based on advice from a friend (thanks Doug!). Monteriggioni is in the province of Siena in Tuscany. The town played a vital role in the on-going conflicts between Siena and Florence during the Middle Ages. Based on the height of the towers and the thickness of the slot in the entrance […]

Greve in Chianti

Greve was our first stop on our swing through the heart of Chianti. There seem to be more grapes per square mile in this part of Chianti than anywhere I’ve been. I know that some of the best wine grows in the worst soil and conditions. With that, I am expecting this stuff to be […]

San Gimignano

Next stop, San Gimignano. It takes its name from the Bishop of Modena, St. Gimignano. In 1348 San Gimignano’s population was drastically reduced by the Black Death Plague. The construction of their towers dates back to the 11th and 13th centuries. The architecture of the city was influenced by Pisa, Siena and Florence. Wikipedia has […]