It’s been a while since I last recapped some of our Italy trip! We visited Rome, Pompeii and Florence. Then we took a day trip from Florence to Chianti country in Tuscany. Chianti is the only wine my mom would drink, and it was happenstance that that was within driving distance to Florence!
The morning of our day trip was downright rainy, and we finally caved and bought a cheap umbrella, which broke after a couple days use, but served it’s purpose. We cross the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge to get to our meeting point on the other side of the river.
Our first stop was Corzano e Paterno, a winery but also a farm, cheese maker and olive oil maker. We started in their cellar and were introduced to their extra large traditional wine barrels, so large that someone can fit inside to prepare it for the next batch of wine!
The rain was a mixed blessing. We were happy that it was raining on a day where we had plenty of indoor activities, but we missed out on walking among the vines. However, the tour made up for it by letting us see how their cheese is made! After we finished up in the cellar, we took a detour to see:
It was truly fascinating! The tour we took was called Super Chianti Wine Tours, and we loved our guide and driver. He spoke to us a lot during our visit, though we heard from the winemakers directly as well. At Corzano e Paterno, we also got to have a little tasting that including cheese and olive oil.
Our guide (above) spoke to us about the region and the rules around Chianti and other varieties of wine. Mom learned how to observe the color of wine and took a lot of photos of her wine’s reflection.
What we truly loved about this tour was that we learned how Italians appreciate their wine and how it goes with the meal. It’s an attitude toward meal time and relaxation and company with friends that mom hadn’t really learned to associate with wine, and the tour ended up being a favorite experience of our entire trip.
Our lunch stop was at Antica Macelleria Cecchini, and we experienced a phenomenal meal (with more wine) in a family style manner. The butcher is located across the street, and the whole experience is in a charming hilly town in Panzano. The cobblestone steep streets and the city on the hill felt quintessentially Italian.
We had one other winery to experience after lunch, and we went to Poggio al Sole. The winemaker and owner here had a fascinating life, uprooting and moving to Italy from Switzerland for the land to become a winery.
Overall, we left with a true appreciate for Italian wine and really enjoyed our day trip away from looking at maps and trying to figure out the next tourist site! I think the tourist sites were important experiences, but it was wonderful the way we progressed with our trip feeling more and more relaxed as it continued on.
Our tour dropped us off at Piazzale Michelangelo at our request, known for picturesque views of Florence. It was a bit far for us to walk there and back to see, so we were happy to end there and just walk back to our hotel from there. And the views were as promised: