May 17-Chianti Country

This morning, a Wednesday, three of our group decided to stay at the villa to relax. Cyndy and Adell headed to Arezzo to see frescos and churches, while five of us headed northwest/west to the Chianti towns for the day. We first stopped in Gaiole in Chianti, a nice little place where we always do our first exploration of this region. There is a little walking street with a sort of hardware store, a kitchen store, a wine-tasting place and the usual ATMs and Tabacchi stores, for post cards and stamps and the ever necessary bottles of water.

After a short stay, we headed to our main destination, lunch at Badia a Coltibuono, a restaurant on the grounds of an abbey, Lorenza Di Medici’s cooking school, and a lovely little shop which sells the wines of the Badia as well as many other tempting goodies. One of our group nearly purchased a four-foot in diameter ceramic table top, until she realized that the shipping would cost nearly as much as the table. But in this lovely setting we had a fantastic lunch, with cream of fresh pea soup topped with goat cheese, grilled deer with risotto, goose carpaccio on creamed polenta with cream . . . you know . . . the usual restaurant fare!

After two hours enjoying our food and the magnificent view, we went back down the hill, toured the shop, and headed for Greve in Chianti, another favorite of mine. For the first time ever, I didn’t buy wine in the excellent wine store in Greve. I didn’t even ENTER the store. So good for me. I did get some practical items, namely dish towels, and sat at an outdoor cafe for the requisite cappuccino. Drinking cappuccino and bottled water are constant activities in Italy, which then require that one find a toilette, preferably not a ceramic hole in the ground, but a real toilet . . . perhaps with real toilet paper as well.

As the sun was smiling low in the sky, we made our way back to Ambra and our villa, where the three homebodies had gone grocery shopping and had dinner grazing ready for us when we arrived. Another beautiful day.



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