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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 […]

Certaldo Alto

A friend told us we had to visit Certaldo Alto. I am glad we listened. It was a little hard to find. Actually it was easy to find sitting up on the hilltop. However, it was tricky to figure out how to get there. Originally an Etruscan-Roman city, it was a fief of the Alberti […]


We got an early start Saturday morning and took off for Tuscany. The Autostrade out of Bologna quickly turned into more than just getting passed by big Mercedes and BMWs at high speed. It became a game of tunnel, bridge, tunnel, bridge as we approached Firenze. The hills of Tuscany make building roads a lot […]