Day 36-38 (Oct 5-7th)
05.10.2016 - 07.10.2016 18 °C
Last couple of days of our holiday have approached so fast. The Wallace children are hoping to stay another week here – lovely thought!
JT and Jon spent Wednesday together touring down to Montalcino and Montepulciano for Brunello wine tasting. Brunello, Ferrari’s and Brunello gelato! They had a marvellous day together. I had a pool day for a change – my first one this trip! It has been lovely having the pool – we’ve swum most days until now.
Thursday was Firenze tour day for the rest of the group – but JT and I opted to do a Chianti tour so headed off on the white roads to Greve-in-Chianti as a starting point. You know the signs that show the deer leaping across the road? Well it actually happened to us! The deer was so quick out of the trees just in front of us and over the road in one bound (not a very wide road admittedly) but we were pleased we weren’t a few seconds earlier!
From Greve we drove to Rada-in-Chianti, a lovely tiny hill top town (only hill top in Chianti apparently) and wandered around the town admiring the stonework, leather shops etc. before settling on a wee lunch spot. Had a great meal and JT savoured a local “super Tuscan” red wine while I enjoyed a very nice dry rosé.
The plan then was to drive up to Fiesole on the north-eastern side of Firenze, but instead we found ourselves in this amazing national park area that had rock formations like the Pinnacles on the Wairarapa south coast. The sign said 40min walk – so off we went, but it wasn’t well sign posted and we ended up doing a 1 ½ hr loop! It was stunning, and great to have a walk that wasn’t on pavements!
So Fiesole was the last trip of our adventure on Friday. Phil & Cathy and Mark & Marlene joined us for the day. We can see why the Etruscans settled up on the hill (and then had every other conqueror settle over the top of them – literally) the views are stunning and it would be much cooler in summer. The Medici’s used to summer up there too – and the rest of the Florentines – so there are some stunning villas to oooh and aahhhh over. Lovely wee church of San Francesco (Saint Francis of Asisi) at the very top of a knoll which had a stunning painting of the magi adoration of Jesus, will have to look up the painter.
After lunch on the square (obligatory) we visited the Etruscan (alter stone and built over church) and roman ruins – bath house, sanctuary and auditorium, then the museum. The history of the area dates back to the 4th century B.C. It’s very easy to become blasé about the old buildings – but somehow see the ruins brought home just how long people have been living here.
Last night dinner out in Impruneta - only 2 dinners out during the two weeks here! Then a very tired team hit the sack. Off to Milan tomorrow for a day experience before flying home.