|driving along the famous SR222 -- the scenic route that cuts across the Chianti Region between Siena and Firenze|
|the beautiful contemporary architecture of Antinori Winery in the Chianti, famous for its history, restaurant and vineyard visit|
|breathing in the gorgeous scenery, along with the young vines that make the Chianti Classico|
|outside the vineyard's restaurant, Rinucci 1180... it had just stopped raining when we arrived.|
|enjoying the wine sampler|
|some crostini, charcuterie, olives and pecorino cheese|
|descending into the reception area for the vineyard visit and wine tasting|
|inside the cave where the wines are fermented and aged. this cave is constructed of terra cotta bricks.|
from Siena, we spent almost two hours driving through the scenic SR222 route. it's basically a road that traverses the whole of Chianti from Siena to Firenze. if you look it up on Google, or click the link i have here, you will see that it is quite famous for the scenery. we were so high on top of the mountains, our trip started out all foggy and rainy. we were a bit scared at first that the GPS was taking us nowhere where we wanted to go because the roads were so long and winding, albeit really breath-takingly beautiful, i had to make several stops to take some pictures. and when we were getting close to the area, we couldn't see any obvious sign of the famous Antinori winery. according to Lonely Planet, it is the best vineyard visit in all of Chianti.
we were not disappointed when we got there. thankfully, the rain had stopped and we were able to see the road signs more clearly. the winery is not very obvious from afar because most of the structure is underground. it was specifically designed to be not-so-obvious like this. and it is indeed a marvelous contemporary architectural structure that very gracefully and beautiful blends with the surroundings.
we first had lunch at the famous restaurant called Rinuccio 1180. the food was so-so but the wine sampler was really good. and you have the view of the rolling Tuscan hills and the vineyard while you eat... which is mostly what we came there for.
the vineyard visit and wine tasting went really well. everything was in English, unlike my first ever vineyard visit in France where everything was in French. the wine, though, was quite expensive. i guess because it is very famous coming from a well-known family of wine makers in Italy. they even have in the building a library and a theater where all their family history and love of wine are documented. it was quite an interesting visit. i learned so much about wine and how the Italians love them.
|the entrance to the huge orchard of Relais Residence Borgo San Pietro in Cortona|
|a beautiful place to have an apéro -- my favorite prosecco and hubby's Spritz|
|my favorite flowers -- lavender and roses, all seem to be reaching for me. :)|
|relaxing pool amid the greens|
|some pears in the vast orchard of the hotel|
|blackberries in the wild... they were the sweetest!|
|the hotel's lovely restaurant|
|the famous Sangiovese of Cortona|
|inside the Basilica di San Francesco in Arezzo where Capella Bacci is located... that chapel in The English Patient with the Juliette Binoche romantic scene|
from Chianti, we actually headed back to Siena for one last night. and the next day, we drove to Cortona. one of the best parts of our Tuscan trip was staying at this lovely hotel in Cortona called Relais Borgo San Pietro. the hotel was set right in the middle of a flower garden filled with all my favorite fragrant flowers -- lavender and roses, and an orchard filled with apples, pears, different varieties of prunes, olives, almonds, etc. it was heavenly and relaxing. we had a lovely dinner in their terrasse with the usual amazing view of the surrounding hills.
we also took an afternoon to visited Arezzo because i've always wanted to visit this chapel which is the setting for the movie, The English Patient. remember that romantic scene with Juliette Binoche? i was quite surprised to find the Basilica di San Francesco quite small. it was charming, nevertheless.
and since i started my Tuscan trip blogs with a video, it's only right that i end it with another video. this one was taken inside the famous Capella Bacci itself. feast your eyes folks:
thank you for reading and i hope i have given you some good tips on how to do a lovely trip tasting, breathing and experiencing life under the Tuscan sun. :)