Bob's World Travels

Tuscany

September 25, 2016

Tuscany

On August 25, I toured Tuscany.  I had asked the Alma Domus people to set me up with an all day tour that would take me around the countryside and to some hilltop towns. So my guide, whose name was Francesco, picked me up in the lobby of my hotel in Siena. I was the first customer and Francesco told me I would be the only person until we picked up a couple in San Gimignano.  So we headed towards that town.  Francesco told me about the area and we stopped for an initial view of the town with its walls and towers. San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is another medieval town frozen in time by the plague of 1348.  San Gimignano prospered because it was located on pilgrim trail from Canterbury to Rome, but later the trail was moved away. Francesco let me tour the medieval town on my own for a couple of hours and then we picked up the young couple. It turned out they were on their honeymoon, he was from Toronto and she from the Netherlands.  Like most people I have met from the Netherlands, she spoke perfect English with an American accent. They lived in London.

I met more than one international couple on my trip.  Waiting to climb the Duomo in Florence, I spoke with a young couple, she from Turin Italy and he from the Netherlands.  They both spoke perfect English.  I asked if he spoke Italian or if she spoke Dutch.  Neither spoke the other's native language, so they conducted their relationship in English.  I saw this as an interesting sign of an increasingly global culture.

Driving around the countryside, we had pleasant conversations.  Francesco told us about the local culture, agriculture and history.  Like many other non-Americans on this trip, the couple had to ask me about the upcoming American presidential election, but they were very polite about it. We talked about popular music and Francesco told us that he listened to Nirvana when he was young.

After San Gimignano, we stopped at the Torciano winery for a wine tasting in a lovely flowered arbor attached to the rural winery.  After a lesson from a woman of the family on how to taste wine, we tried five wines while we munched antipasto. They gave us some nice lasagna for our lunch. I liked the Vernaccia white and the Chianti.  The high-priced, full bodied Brunella excited the others who actually knew something about wine. Needless to say, we were feeling pretty good when we resumed our tour.

We next stopped at Monteriggioni, a medieval hilltop settlement which looked more like a garrison than a town with its high walls.  In fact, the city of Siena used this fortress for the protection of its outlying areas. Like the other hilltop villages we visited, it had great views of the surrounding countryside.

We next stopped at another winery known for its Brunello.  On the way, we stopped for the newlyweds to take pictures in a field of head-tall sunflowers. After we went into the winery and looked at some of the traditional equipment and talked about the rural culture, we sat at a long table to taste wine with another tour group of mostly British people.  By coincidence, the group included a couple from Wales who I had met and conversed with at the restaurant the evening before in Siena. I have found the British tend to let go and have fun on their holidays.  So our wine tasting turned into quite a party with a great deal of joking and laughter. When the newlyweds left the table for a moment, I told everyone they were on their honeymoon.

After the couple came back, the word was out. We were all surprised when the paterfamilias of the vineyards came to our table and began talking to the newlyweds.  He hugged the bride and gave a speech in Italian, with our guide translating, telling the couple the importance of being faithful and loving to each other.  He hugged and kissed the bride again and hugged the groom.  He then turned music on and danced with the bride. The whole group laughed and applauded and had a great time.    The bride was slightly embarrassed but hopefully, it was an experience they will never forget. At the end, the family brought us a shot glass of grappa, a liquor made from the remains of the wine making process. Following the lead of the family, we toasted the couple, counted down from five, and down the hatch.

Our last stop on the tour was to another ancient, hilltop town Montalcino.  Montalcino is in the Val d’Orcia, and area that has been designated as another UNESCO World Heritage site. This is an area of wide-open, classic Tuscan landscapes portrayed in much art from the paintings of the Renaissance to contemporary photography.  It had been a grand day in medieval towns, wineries, and sunlit rural landscapes.

 

Comments

April 22, 2018 2:19 am
advanced background checks
Check bench warrant philadelphia, http://advanced-background-checks.stream/ background checks walmart.
April 21, 2018 10:36 pm
affordable-background-checks.stream
Free warrant check uk, http://affordable-background-checks.stream totally free police records.
April 21, 2018 8:27 pm
background arrest record check
Jefferson county co criminal records search, http://arrest-record-background-check.stream/ search ss.
April 21, 2018 6:41 pm
lookup arrest
Criminal search az, http://arrest-lookup.stream angelina county jail judicial records.
April 21, 2018 12:00 pm
search arrest record
Background investigation jobs, http://arrest-record-search.stream nys employment background check laws.
April 21, 2018 7:24 am
arrest records
Inmates in florida jails, http://arrest-records-free.stream ohio state university medical center background check.
April 21, 2018 2:54 am
arrest search stream
Instant background check rifle, http://arrest-search.stream tenant credit check form bc.
April 20, 2018 10:22 pm
criminal check
Richmond county public record search, http://background-and-criminal-check.stream west virginia public records.
April 20, 2018 10:19 pm
background-check-for-landlords stream
How to search divorce records, http://background-check-for-landlords.stream/ dakota county criminal complaint search.
April 20, 2018 6:27 pm
background check for rental stream
Free state michigan criminal background check, http://background-check-for-rental.stream/ colorado public records search marriage.
April 20, 2018 5:32 pm
background check cheap
University of washington public records salary, http://background-check-cheap.stream what can a background check reveal.
April 20, 2018 2:16 pm
background check free stream
Credit report employment history, http://background-check-free.stream oklahoma city arrest records search.
April 20, 2018 10:57 am
companies background check
What are public records in massachusetts, http://background-check-companies.stream/ child abuse and neglect background check kentucky.
April 20, 2018 10:18 am
background check free criminal record
How to get background check for employment, http://background-check-free-criminal-record.stream how do i get a criminal background check on myself in canada.
April 20, 2018 6:30 am
background-check-government
Arrest picture, http://background-check-government.stream/ criminal background check for teachers in texas.
April 20, 2018 6:22 am
background-check-criminal-records
Jackson county ohio public records search, http://background-check-criminal-records.stream washington county texas official public records.
April 19, 2018 10:01 pm
background history
Background checks express, http://background-check-history.stream public arrest records michigan free.
April 19, 2018 5:38 pm
background check for employment
Public police records tucson az, http://background-check-for-employment.stream active warrant search dallas county texas.
April 19, 2018 5:31 pm
background information
Criminal records record store toronto, http://background-check-information.stream free court records dc.
April 19, 2018 12:31 pm
background-check-instant.stream
Illinois adoption records, http://background-check-instant.stream free address finder.
April 19, 2018 11:25 am
background check for free
Hennepin county clerk of court criminal records, http://background-check-for-free.stream/ free death notices.
April 19, 2018 2:26 am
background-check-renters.science
Marion county indiana public criminal records, http://background-check-renters.science any valid arrest justifies a warrantless search incident to arrest.
April 18, 2018 9:20 pm
check background
Checking criminal records free, http://background-check-report.science/ clay county arrest records public.
April 18, 2018 4:35 pm
background-check-reports
The people finder, http://background-check-reports.science volusia county jail arrest records.
April 18, 2018 11:07 am
check background
Pa state criminal history background check, http://background-check-investigator.stream/ how to check your background record for free.
April 18, 2018 9:42 am
background-check-results
Philadelphia family court public records, http://background-check-results.science/ oklahoma department of public safety records management division.
April 18, 2018 7:21 am
background check
People search for address, http://background-check-job.stream bc provincial court public records.
April 18, 2018 5:05 am
background-check-review science
Federal case records, http://background-check-review.science/ corrections search inmate.
April 17, 2018 5:39 pm
background-check-locations
Nationwide employment background check, http://background-check-locations.stream mn bca background check form.
April 17, 2018 3:55 pm
check background
Criminal record form, http://background-check-reviews.science free criminal records san diego county.
April 17, 2018 1:05 pm
background check program science
Criminal background check free illinois, http://background-check-program.science free california arrest records online.
April 17, 2018 5:32 am
background check
Brevard county sheriff criminal records, http://background-check-screening.science/ clay county florida warrant check.
April 16, 2018 2:34 pm
background-check-search science
Oklahoma state court records public records, http://background-check-search.science/ search criminal records massachusetts.
April 16, 2018 1:27 am
background check providers science
Crime in city, http://background-check-providers.science/ florida department of law enforcement background check form.
April 15, 2018 9:12 pm
background-check-records.science
Under florida law email addresses are public records, http://background-check-records.science can a job charge you for a background check.
April 15, 2018 4:56 pm
background check
Missouri employer background screening request, http://background-check-rental.science criminal history check indiana state police.
April 15, 2018 4:26 pm
check-service-for-employers
Twin falls idaho court records, http://background-check-service-for-employers.science/ criminal history record check nsw.
April 15, 2018 12:56 pm
background-check-renter science
Dallas texas arrest lookup, http://background-check-renter.science united states inmate locator.
April 15, 2018 9:37 am
background-check-services science
El reno oklahoma public records, http://background-check-services.science/ federal court cases lookup.
April 15, 2018 3:58 am
check background
Miami county ohio public records online, http://background-check-services-for-employers.science/ how to find someones criminal history for free.
April 14, 2018 5:17 pm
background check services
Get criminal record check spain, http://background-check-services-for-landlords.science burlington county nj civil court records.
April 13, 2018 5:53 am
medications online
buying without insurance http://online-medications.men/ generic drug.
April 12, 2018 6:03 pm
http://drugstore-usa.science/
buying online from mexico http://online-medications.men/ over the counter equivalent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *