Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tuscan Wine Country

It was a Sunday, Giovanni had the day off so we left motorcycles and our childishness behind and took the other BMW, the car for a spin to Tuscany and the Montalcino area for a road trip. Classic country views, as you might imagine:
And some surprisingly arid ploughed fields as you can see, deep in a summer of drought: 
Tuscany is a much bigger region than my native Umbria which is little more than a single valley following the River Tiber toward Rome. Tuscany has room to spread out.
 Giovanni and Rossana were quite taken by the folds of the brown crusty fields.
 We took to dirt roads looking for our planned lunch spot. Even though we were visiting wine country we weren't wine tasting it turned out as the Italians in the party don't believe in such frivolous behavior. I promised my long suffering wife an unencumbered return visit:
They  grow  grapes and it seems to me they deserve to be tasted, but not this day.
 We got to the wrong winery by miscommunication and though the all woman winery was closed they left some art scattered around for us to admire:
The place was worth a visit and it was too bad it was closed.

Once we figured out our error, mixing up addresses in a notebook we pressed on to our correct lunch destination and the usual four course meal of appetizer, pasta, meat course and dessert.  
The old caterpillar tractor reminded me of my many misspent hours in my youth clanking up and down fields at all hours of the day and night turning over the soil using a machine like this which these days has mostly been superseded by more powerful machines with better rubber wheels than we had available 45 years ago:
 The wine we did taste with lunch was delicious...
And then we spread out for various walks, naps and newspapers as you do after a sociable Sunday meal.  Layne and I shared pasta:
 Lamb stew:
 And a cassata, an ice cream cake inside a meringue:
 And then to finish us off they brought a  plate of cookies, just because....
Your average light lunch...
I wandered off with my camera and spotted both classical...
 ...and contemporary, wondering where the bed and breakfast guests were on such a perfect swimming day:
 Rossana the gardener had her own agenda:
Back on the road Giovanni remarked that short pants really were quite comfortable, he had had no idea. He needs a little more American informality in his life.
Montalcino was the goal, it was time for coffee and an urban stroll. We found a fort:

WE walked the streets and looked at art and wine and brandy and stuff.
They are fully equipped with a  clock tower:
Montalcino is a  one more pretty Italian hill town.
And of course the white circle ringed in red means no cars.
It was all things considered quite the pleasant outing.