Italy: Tuscany Wine Tour

This day was one of my favorite parts of our trip.  1-We weren't in charge of transportation, 2- We got to drink Italian wine and visit the vineyards (kinda) or at least the wineries where they made and stored the wine, and 3- 'Free' (we did pay for tickets after all) bus tour through Tuscany!  Plus, the weather was perfect (not too terribly hot that day).  

My day started by waking up in our Bnb, having a nice peaceful colazione that consisted of caffe nero, la frutta, and of course a croissant, as I listened to a neighbor play piano! We hung out for awhile before getting ready and heading out for an early and quick lunch so we would be ready for the bus and a full day of drinking. 

Our tourguide, Kiko, was born in Japan, raised in the US, and moved to Italy at some point and seemed more Italian than anything else, was sarcastic and pleasant as she told us about herself and the history around the vineyards as well as a bit of Italian history.  

We had 4 stops on this tour -2 were actual tastings and vineyards while the other 2 were festivals where we could pay for more wine samples around the area.  At both stops, we had similar wines (different years/different areas): a Chianti Classico - what they are most known for, a Chianti Reserve, and a Super Tuscan (the difference being how long it was kept in a barrel, and how alcoholic/smooth the wine was).  At the second tasting we had some grappa (want to know what it is exactly?  I know it's a wiki page, but pretty accurate from what I remember).  But they didn't stop there at the tasting! What goes better with wine than cheese and crackers? Perhaps bread and olive oil? And Italy is one region that makes excellent olive oil (and apparently balsamic vinegar too).  So we had some really tasty E.V.O.O., white truffle oil, 12 and 20 year balsamic vinegar- super good. Who knew 8 years made a huge difference! 
Anyway, I digress, everything was good, as was expected.  Got the picture perfect pictures, and had a grand ol' tipsy time in Tuscany.  :) Not only that we actually met a guy from Dayton, Ohio area (small world after all), and met his wife and another couple that we talked to for a bit.  Making the trip more fun since we started to meet other people and actual talk to others who weren't waiting on us.  

To top the night off, when we got back into Florence, we went out to eat gelato and met up with a friend from UD (unplanned and pretty awesome discovering she also happened to be in Florence at the same time). 

It was a bella notte to say the least.  

[Next up: Fiesole and the Duomo!]


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