Thursday, July 25, 2013
After eating breakfast at Castel Monastero and grabbing a slice of pizza from the local trattoria, we made our way to the Chianti wine region to sample some of the local wines. We stopped off at the Castello di Verrazzano winery and signed up for a tour and wine tasting session. The tour was interesting but a little too much history around how Verrazzano was robbed of his new world discoveries by Columbus! As we toured the cellars, we saw several barrels of Chianti Classico maturing in French oak barrels and we were quite impressed by the owner’s personal selection of wines, many of which were over fifty years old. After the cellar tour, we sampled three wines - a Rose, a Chianti Classico and a Chianto Classico Reserva - in the company of a nice couple on holiday from Belgium.

The wine tasting finished a little later than planned, but we still decided to make our way to visit the town of San Gimignano - another gorgeous fortified town on top of a hill overlooking the Chianti valleys. Our timing was perfect as most of the tourists were leaving for the day. We strolled the narrow, and often steep, side-streets looking at the various shops and bought a sunflower water colour painting from a local artist. We decided to stop for dinner and had the usual tomato bruschetta followed by mushroom bruschetta and fettuccine with a wild boar meat sauce. Very tasty. After dinner, we found a gelateria that claimed to have won world championships with its gelato. We tried the caramel and stracciatella gelatos. They were good but we still think the gelato we found in Taormina was better.

The drive back to Castel Monastero took about an hour and we got back in time to pack our bags to be ready to leave in the morning.

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