Tag Archives: Montepulciano

Seeing the Blues

16 Jul

in Montepulciano,

© Blogginginitaly.com

© Blogginginitaly.com





And sipping the Reds!







All in a good day’s work.



A New Fiat in the Family

3 Jun

Check out our new car…a Fiat 500 L, (cinque cento)


Nice interiorIMG_0615

Comfortable room for four


Lift-gate hidden cargo area


Well, it is new, and it is ours…if only for four weeks.

We took the car for a ride today, off to get coffee and find the sun. And that we did. After driving some winding roads, we headed toward Montalcino to find Avignonesi, a winery we learned of from our friend Patricia. We’ve tried some of their wines and like them a lot, so off we went.


From their website:

The winery is named after the Avignonesi family, the founders of the original estate. Constant research and development aimed at expressing the true character of the Montepulciano terroir has, over time, earned the winery a well-deserved place among the flagship producers of Tuscany. http://www.avignonesi.it

As is true throughout Tuscany, it is impossible to photograph or paint the magnificence and simplicity of the rolling hills.



Avignonesi has a lovely tasting room, and offers tours, lunches and culinary classes. And the customer service is wonderful.


After purchasing some wine, we headed toward the relatively quiet town of Castiglione del Lago, which sits above Lake Trasimeno.



In 217 BC, however, the areas was anything but quiet as Hannibal and the Carthaginians defeated the Romans in one of the most successful ambushes in military history. But today, one lone sailboat.


The lovely town above the lake offers local products, dining, and some great old architecture to locals and visitors alike.




Another day filled with sunshine, until we returned to Cortona storms, but no matter, we enjoyed the day, the sun and the Fiat, which handled the curves, hills and AC quite well. Perhaps this is my next car, Mike? Could be a great city car!




22 Jun

Driving through the hills of Tuscany, about one hour outside of Cortona, one views the majestic city of Montepulciano. The main monuments, pictured here, were built between the 1300-1500s. As you can see, the city  was not very crowded. Perhaps it is because one needs to have very strong knees to ascend the steep hills! The panorama from the top is amazing, with vineyards, wheat fields and sunflowers as far as the eye can see in the ever stretching azure sky.

We lunched at Osteria del Bargo on the sweetest melon and just carved prosciutto overlooking terra cotta tiled roofs, towns and cities miles away, and the ever present red geraniums.

Among other things, Montepulciano is well known for its Nobile wines. What we learned today is that a wine that we have been drinking,  Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, is of the Montepulciano grape, but from Abruzzo, not Tuscany. Conversely, Montepulciano Nobile, is by law, a blend of  80% Sangiovese grapes from Tuscany combined with other varietals. Afterward, we sampled wines at Poliziano and Contucci. Poliziano sells wines in the U.S., and we particularly liked the Rosso for an every day table wine and the even better Nobile.

Perhaps the best part of the entire trip was Len enjoying the countryside sites and singing “The hills are alive with the signs of vino. With vines they have grown for a thousand years. The hills fill my heart with anticipation...” well, you get it…no comments about my driving, which I take as an extreme compliment! And actually, through all the hills and all the curves, we made it back to Cortona easily and found a great spot to park.

Our best dinner yet was tonight at Toscana. Benita would have loved it, but beware to all my vegan nieces…we had an amazing bistecca!


Till next,


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