Food / Italy / Travel / Uncategorized

Toscana part 2

Apologies readers, I accidently hit the ‘publish’ button instead of the ‘save draft’ button on my last blog entry…so if it appeared half finished, that’s why!

We had a great time at Montepulciano.  We visited the gorgeous town twice – the first time I bought a lovely leather hand bag.  The second time I returned the lovely handbag with a broken strap. So sad!  But I couldn’t let a 50 euro handbag off the hook – the strap has to last more than 1 hour!

Montepulciano is simply beautiful. It is hilly and the centre is walled and medieval.  There are lots of enoteca or wine shops, leather shops selling shoes, bags, and jackets, and gourmet food shops selling all things truffles.   Yuuum, truffles…! 

One of the nicest things about Montepulciano is the agriturismo we stayed in.  Such a lovely family.   The pizza we ate in their pizzeria wins Zorba’s vote of best pizza in Italia!  Truly!  It was divine.  We made up our own pizza – tomato base cooked, then placed on top, fresh mozzarella, proscuito crudo, and rocket. The crust was thin and oh-so crispy and the quality of the toppings were first class. It was a delight to eat and we were wishing we didn’t have such a big lunch so we could eat more!!  Before sharing Italia’s best pizza, we shared a home made lasagne, and again, this was so beautiful. I won’t blaspheme and say it was better than Nonna’s, but it was equally as delicious. Fresh pasta, fresh home made béchamel sauce, home made ragu..yum!   We ate so well that it was hard to stop, despite our tummies getting full.

For desert we asked if they did a sweet pizza.  I got a puzzled look before I suggested a pizza with nutella.   I got a huge smile from the jolly round owner who said, ‘perche no?"’ or why not?  I finally had my nutella pizza and it was perfect!

We were sad to check out the next day and leave, but also excited with what was to come next.  We booked a 4-star villa in Valdarno called Villa Borghetta www.villaborgettahotel.com .  The photos on the internet looked amazing, but you just never know until you get there. 

Our approach to the villa was interesting.  The Tom Tom led us to an industrial park and onto a dirt road with power lines all around us before saying, ‘you have reached your destination’.  No we hadn’t.  We double checked the address, correct, and tried again.  It led us to the same place.  Grrrr, we were starting to get frustrated, then I saw a sign post with an arrow.  So we followed the sign out of the industrial park, up a winding road.  We were driving into green vegetation – a good sign, trees, and all in all, 1000 times nicer scenery than were the Tom Tom had led us to. 

Driving the little Fiat 500 up a hill, along twisty roads, and there it stood on top of the hill, like an oasis in the desert, Villa Borghetta.  It was beautiful.  The palatial lobby had a wide gilded marble staircase that faced the glass doors.  Our room was one of the smaller rooms on offer was huge – really beautiful.  We had white fluffy robes and slippers waiting for us and in the bathroom was a rain shower (love those) and L’Occitaine products – yay!  It was so posh and lovely, i was in heaven!

We went down to the infinity pool and spent a couple of hour relaxing in the sun, pinching ourselves at the view – the typical Tuscan view, lush green trees, rolling hills, vineyards… Ahh bliss!

Our room was 180 euro per night and included breakfast and dinner.  So not that bad really.   We got dressed up for dinner and sat on the terrace whilst being served by waiters with attitude wearing penguin suits.   The setting was spectacular, but nothing else was.  The food fell short and was not worthy of such beautiful surroundings.  The waiters were a bit snooty and as soon as it became dark, the mosquitoes came out.  Just as well a world cup game was on, we had the perfect excuse to cut dinner short and go back to our spacious loft room and watch the game.

The next day we spent the morning lazing around the pool, it was so nice, before driving 30 minutes to our next destination, Greve in Chianti.

We were booked into an agriturismo lovely Lisa C recommended, Podere Torre http://www.greve-in-chianti.com/poderetorre.htm 

We had to drive along some pretty steep hills, the last few on dirt roads and our poor cinquecento struggled.  It took several attempts to get up the hill!  The agriturismo was a delight.  65 euro per night and only 3 rooms. It was a farm house run by Cecilia who was such a sweet woman.  Our room had it’s own entrance, a big high country style wrought iron bed, it was simple yet perfect.  For dinner we used the communal kitchen, which is only used by one other room, and bought supplies from Greve in Chianti – tomatoes, ricotta, olives, proscuito, bread, cheese, and sardines for the Greek and sat under the terrace looking out onto that million dollar view whilst sipping chianti we had bought from a local winery.   A perfect evening!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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