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Chianti Weekend

12 Sep

ImageI am told to be a successful blogger you have to post at least twice a week. Clearly I am not successful. This “thing” can take over your life. I am always looking at a cultural tidbit, beautiful view, piece of art, or an incident with an eye toward a blog entry. But somehow life gets in the way of actually making that entry.

Since last I wrote, I have been immersed in Italian lessons 4 or 5 days each week (an hour at a time), plus homework. Ric has started lessons too, 2 or 3 times each week. We have continued to enrich our understanding of this grand city seeing more museums, historical sites, and of course expanding our culinary knowledge.  And some extraordinary events have led to bus trips to previously unexplored sections of the city. I entered the Italian medical system (just minor!) which is a lengthy story in itself of interesting contrasts with the North American medical culture. In between events we actually manage to go to work.

We have also had guests, and this past weekend our nephew Eddie invited us along on a trip to the Chianti Region, where he had rented a house. This is the early morning view from the deck.

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What a lovely way to wake up! Sipping stong Italian coffee while the sun creeps over the valley. The occasional bark of a dog or crow of a cock is all you hear.

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Lovely setting: quaint, practical, with a drop-dead gorgeous view.

We passed briefly through Firenze, then headed out to the countryside. Our family had discovered a sagre (festival centered on an agricultural specialty) in Grevè in Chianti, where for €10.00 you could taste up to 7 wines. (Or if they “forgot” to punch your ticket, maybe 10, or 14.) We met lovely people from all over the world helping out with the sagre and intent on the upcoming harvest. We spent the evening at our Tuscan retreat grilling Bistecca alla Fiorentina and enjoying some local wines.

The next day we ventured to San Gimignano, followed by a visit to Villa Vignamaggio, famous not only for its wine, but as the home of the woman who posed for DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. It was also the site of the 1993 movie Much Ado About Nothing. They were kind enough to not only show us the cellars (which date back over 500 years), but to share some product.  There is a B&B at Villa Vignamaggio, which begs a return visit.

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Wine tasting and Tuscan specialities at Vignamaggio. A bit more formal than our Oregon experiences.

I can hardly describe the peacefulness of this place. Eddie’s rented villa was one of the quietest places we have ever stayed. The deck looked out over a lovely valley with village lights in the distance. We heard only the occasional barking dog. While star-gazing an enormous “shooting star” lit up the sky in a way you never experience in a city.

Clearly I’ve been much too busy to write.

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The lovely Helen poses with a Tuscan wild boar. This shop and its delightful owner were the source of our hand cut bistecca alla fiorentina.

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19 Responses to “Chianti Weekend”

  1. Terah September 18, 2012 at 16:36 #

    You are a perfect blogger. I’d rather see one great post (like this one) than 20 non-informative posts like I see on Facebook! You make Italy come alive for me! Even though we’ve been to Italy many times I feel like I’m learning about it from the inside out! If possible, ask Eddie how to rent the villa he chose. We have rented before and enjoyed having a kitchen. This one looks magnificent! Can’t wait for your next blog entry. Take care of yourself and thank you for sharing Italy so graciously with us.

    Like

    • gooddayrome September 18, 2012 at 19:08 #

      Grazie Terah! My SIL, nephew and niece are Texans too, BTW.

      Like

  2. Carolyn September 13, 2012 at 00:37 #

    Hi! The QUALITY of your blogs sure don’t require you to write once or twice a week to be a successful bloger!! Your weekend get a way sounded like heaven. Loved the pictures too. I cannot write and not mention my concern for your and Ric’s safety. The horrific news from Lybia this morning is so sad. I feel so bad for those lost and their families. I know your security is on top alert. But, it is still scary times.

    Like

  3. Will September 12, 2012 at 18:19 #

    Beautiful pix – it’s relaxing just to look at them! We’re looking forward to our Rome visit in November – it would be nice to meet you and Ric during our visit. Chiao! — Will

    Like

    • gooddayrome September 12, 2012 at 18:56 #

      Hi Will. We’d love to hook up. Just let us know a good day adn we’ll suggest a place.

      Like

  4. Nicholas September 12, 2012 at 15:42 #

    Lovely place!! It is great you were able to get to experience someplace so serene and beautiful. Love to you both and the kids too!! Ciao mia amica!!

    Like

    • gooddayrome September 12, 2012 at 18:57 #

      Ciao bello! You would love Tuscany too. Next time you are here….

      Like

  5. Jonnie Martin September 12, 2012 at 15:21 #

    Twice a week — ridiculous. I consider myself a professional blogger and once a week is plenty for me. We back in the states would be delighted with once a month or even occasional blogs from you, by dearest Laurel — they are so full of wonderful info and photos and we are getting to share your grand experience with you.

    Like

    • gooddayrome September 12, 2012 at 18:58 #

      So glad you are finally hooked up to see the pictures. And your blog is making me want to read stuff I usually skip. 🙂 You are inspiring me! Now if I only had time. I think I need more long train trips.

      Like

  6. Anita September 12, 2012 at 08:34 #

    Wow, I would love to live in a house with that view! Glad you are getting to see so much of the country.

    Like

    • gooddayrome September 12, 2012 at 18:59 #

      Make time to visit. At least you can pretend you live there!

      Like

  7. Janet Tabbal September 12, 2012 at 07:01 #

    I can just”hear” the quiet of the house! The dog or rooster in the background…you paint a picture with your words, Laurel.

    Like

    • gooddayrome September 12, 2012 at 19:00 #

      Thank you Janet. Can’t wait for you and John to visit so we can show you around!

      Like

  8. Susan September 12, 2012 at 06:41 #

    Love it! Only a little jealous… glad you are having a good time with Eddie, Helen, and Deb!

    Like

    • gooddayrome September 12, 2012 at 19:01 #

      We’ve had a lot of fun being together, cooking, drinking, and even a little touring. 🙂 Next year maybe you and John….

      Like

  9. Diana September 12, 2012 at 06:32 #

    I was catching up with Jonnie by phone Sunday and got to thinking I hadn’t heard from you for a while. You were on my list this week to e-mail to see what you were up too. Love your blog. It helped catch me up with your great adventures.

    Like

    • gooddayrome September 12, 2012 at 19:01 #

      Yup, still kicking! My life is so simple now, yet so full. Love it!

      Like

  10. ashleypaige4 September 12, 2012 at 06:01 #

    Great post! I think you you’re going to be successful if this is the quality of post you have every time. It was very enjoyable and made me want to return to Italy! Cheers!

    Like

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