Monday, September 14, 2015

Montepulciano {Italy, Part 1}

Italy has been a trip that has been planned for a very long time. The stars aligned and it was finally time to go back and show Jason one of my very favorite places!

We caught a late flight from Houston to Rome (via Frankfurt) and rented a car for our drive north to Tuscany. I've been wanting to stay at a functioning agriturismo (a farm/winery subsidized by housing guests) since I toured one in my study-abroad days, so we booked 2 nights at one outside of Montepulciano. 

Corte del Cavalierino was wonderful! Though their English was limited, we had no real problems communicating with them. The room was huge and had an amazing view of their winery and Montepulciano. The only bad thing was the mosquitos and no mosquito nets! Holy cow, they were terrible - who knew? But combine this and the no A/C thing - we had the choice of being eaten alive or sweating all night. We chose the sweating.

Anyways, we figured the best way to beat jet lag was to head out at once into town and we wandered around for hours exploring this cute town. Jason also had his first gelato and loved it (he wasn't sure he was going to, crazy boy!).

Once we got back, we opened up a bottle of their winery's stock and took in the view. They also had a pool and hottub, so we sipped a glass under the stars. Not a bad first day in Italy!

We had heard that Montepulciano was holding a festival on our second night. The festival was called Bravio della Botti, which was essentially an uphill race to see who could push a wine barrel up to the main piazza the fastest between the 8 neighborhoods of Montepulciano. 

We claimed our spot along the route (crammed into a doorway) to watch the race. After a speedy passby, we followed the contestants and made our way up to the main piazza to watch the trophy (or banner in this case) ceremony. Of course the winning neighborhood was celebrating the most, but every neighborhood had booth of snacks and wine set up. We grabbed some fried donuts and wine - dinner of champions - and joined in the festivities!

Next up - Montalcino & Chianti

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