Today was wine tour day! We went to three wineries in the Chianti region, and sampled a total of thirteen wines throughout the day.
Our first stop was at Castello di Radda, a fairly new winery that has been operating since 2009. We toured their facilities, and then tried five of their wines.
Our next stop was for lunch in Volpaia, a city that was built in the 10th century along the Florence and Sienna border. We didn’t tour any wineries there, but we did get to try one wine made in the city.
Our third stop was in Castello di Brolio, the second oldest winery in the world and the place where Chianti wine was invented. We had a tour of the grounds and learned the history of the castle before moving on to the wine tasting. They had three wines to sample, all either Chianti or Supertuscans.
Our final stop was Cantalici. This winery was converted from a 6th century kiln, and uses organic wine making techniques. We had a tour of the grounds before trying four of the wines and some of their olive oil.
Here are some pictures from throughout the day:
Approaching the Castello di Radda winery
Barrels in the basement of Castello di Rada
We had our lunch at La Bottega Ristorante Di Carla Barucci
Outside Castello di Brolio
The castle’s private church
The oldest tree on the castle grounds. It was hollowed out by a grenade in World War 2
The view from the castle walls
The Cantilici brewing tanks
This building used to be a kiln, and is now the winery
Today we drove into Arezzo, the capital city of the Arezzo province in Tuscany. This town was built in the mountains by the Etruscan civilization around the 6th century BCE. It was conquered by the Romans around 311 BCE, and became a home for retired Roman soldiers.
Our first stop was at the Arezzo Archaeological Museum, which was built directly into the ruins of the old Roman amphitheater. This museum contained artifacts found in the area dating back to the Roman times, including the tools used to mass-produce the iconic clay vases.
After the museum we toured the Basilica of San Francesco, a church that began construction around 1290 CE. This church is best known for housing frescoes depicting the Legend of the True Cross. The basement of this church contained an exhibition hall, currently showing stereoscopic pictures from the late 1800s.
Here are my pictures from throughout the day:
The grounds of the ancient Roman amphitheater
Pottery found during the archeological dig
A typical roman bedroom
A mural of Neptune
Vittorio Fossombroni, an Italian statesman from Arezzo
The Basilica of San Francesco
A chapel in the Basilica of San Francesco
Inside the Basilica of San Francesco
Stereoscopic photos from the 1890s
Most places are closed in Italy on Sundays, so yesterday was mostly a rest day. We took some time to explore our resort, find the nearest train station, and wander around the closest town.
Today we took a guided tour to Cortona and Assisi. Cortona is towards the top of a mountain, and was where the movie Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed. We used some of our time there to admire the view. By the time we went through a small museum and some shops our time was up and we had to get on the bus to move on.
Assisi is best known as the birthplace as both Saint Francis and Saint Claire. We had lunch shortly after arriving, and then had the chance to tour their basilicas. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures in either basilica. On our way out of town we saw the basilica of Saint Mary, a church built around a much smaller church that Saint Francis had reconstructed.
Here are some pictures from the last few days:
An old mill in Loro Ciuffenna
The road back to our resort
The view from Cortona
The walls of Cortona
The Cortona Cathedral
The Basilica of Saint Claire
The Basilica of Saint Frances
The Basilica of Saint Mary
Assisi from afar
I arrived in Italy mid-afternoon on May 26th with my parents, but we were too tired to do much besides walk around a bit and find pizza. Yesterday was our first full day in the country, and we took a Segway tour of Florence to give us a chance to see as much of the city as possible in a short amount of time. Here are some photos from throughout day:
The original map of Florence, from around 59 BC
This column was at the very center of Roman Florence
The gates to Republic Square
Outside the Medici family’s private church.
Inside the Medici family’s private church
Statue representing Spring
Statue representing Summer
Statue representing Autumn
Statue representing Winter
We stopped for Gelato halfway through the Segway tour
My mom in front of Bar San Michele