The Dinner on the Hill.5

13 Aug

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There is a paradox about many of the hill towns in Tuscany. You can clearly see them from a distance, yet they disappear as you approach. Such is the case with Sant’Angelo in Colle. Marisa, Maria and Emanuela had all recommended that we drive to Il Leccio for dinner. Not far, they told us. Just turn left, then right, then keep driving.

So after a most enjoyable day, beginning with our tour, then the tasting and finally our chance meeting and subsequent two-hour conversation with the ladies, we headed for dinner at Il Leccio. The restaurant, we were told, offered the highest and most amazing views of Montalcino and we were hungry.

We set out for what we thought was a 5-10 minute drive. We drove through the winding hills, and with each turn, expected to see the restaurant yet all we saw was a town in the distance. About 20 minutes into the trip, with the sun setting and our stomachs unhappy, we needed to decide to continue or turn back. Oh, well, we had come this far…

Finally, up the highway, we saw a sign. We were in another town! The sign read Sant’Angelo in Colle. Surely they would have told us the restaurant was in another town, but to them, I guess it’s all Montalcino.  Onward we proceeded and eventually saw an arrow pointing to the left and the name Il Leccio. Finally! But not so fast, impatient ones, for ahead of us was a cobblestone street with a pebbled parking area on the left and no sign of a town. We parked and saw what appeared to be a few locals. “Il Leccio?” we asked, and in the typical Italian manner, they replied “Si, sempre diritto.” To Italians, everything is always straight ahead.

Ok, where is the town, where is the restaurant, where are we???? We started to climb some very steep streets…we were in the wall of a city but where was the city? At each intersection we randomly chose a direction.

After an amazingly steep climb,  we heard some voices. Yeah! We actually split and ascended the hill from separate directions. At the top was a piazza, a few restaurants, a church, and the magnificent view. This was the city we had seen from the distance.

“Do you have reservations?” they asked at Il Leccio. Stay calm, Judy, after all this, we are going to eat here. There were several large parties, but one small table outside that was surely meant for us.

We learned that Sant’Angelo in Colle is the highest growing area of Montalcino, 400+ meters above sea level. Although the sun had set, the moonlight and stars cast a glow on the hillside, the night was brilliant, and the view spectacular as promised. We shared pasta and salad by candlelight under the stars and simply ordered a bottle of sparkling water as we had ample wine waiting for us at the villa. A storybook ending to a most amazing day.

Ciao!

Judy

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