Monday, May 21, 2012

3 days in Tuscany...

Our next stop was gorgeous Tuscany, breathtaking vistas any way you looked! We rented a car and nervously made our way out onto the highways of Italy. We learned to read traffic signs, ignore the natives as they sped past us, how to pump gas and follow vague road maps. Our first day of driving took us through Chianti country where we stopped for lunch at Castello di Gabbiano, a winery and agriturismo. Had a wonderful lunch and a "sweet ending", as our waiter described it, of limoncello. We kept heading south in a light rain until we came to our lodging at Hotelito Lupaia~what a dream! It was right out of a storybook, so charming and even had a resident puppy, Sponge, who became a frequent visitor to our terrace. Our first evening we had dinner at Lupaia by a blazing fire on a cool, rainy night~ a four course meal made by Franco, the resident chef. For the next few days we visited the neighboring towns of Sienna, Montepulciano, Montalcino and Pienza. We walked cobblestone streets, searched for parking and a great leather purse, ate delicious pasta and gelato, tasted wine, admired hand painted ceramics, and soaked up the scenery. 
 road to Castello di Gabbiano

 grapevines at Gabbiano

gate to our terrace at Hotel Lupaia

 our "loaded with charm" room

 outside our door

 old aqua door

 view from our room - aaaaahhhh

at dinner our first night

 dessert -  chocolate "salami" with orange marmalade- reminded me of the dark chocolate oranges I put in the girl's Christmas stockings

 the homey, colorful kitchen at Lupaia

 you can't get much more colorful!

Sponge - one of our friendly hosts!

Piazza de Campo in Sienna

 Torre del Mangio in Sienna

 Sienna Duomo

dome of the cathedral

 farmland out the car window

 stand of cypress trees

arriving in Montepulciano

part 2 of Tuscany trip to come....

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