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The adventures of the Mel

Marvellous Montalcino

ITALY | Wednesday, 6 October 2010 | Views [571] | Comments [2]

So where was I? Oh yes.....vino. Montalcino is known for its Brunello wine, arguably the best in the world. I was not disappointed. But I’ll get to that shortly.

For some strange reason unknown to anyone rational, we decided to get up at 6:00 am in order to catch an early bus to Montalcino. We arrived at the bus stop around 7:15 am.....to find that we had missed a bus by 10 minutes and that we had to wait until 10:50 am for the next one. And that’s the short version. Use your imagination on finding the correct bus stop, finding the timetable, finding the correct tickets....I like the shorter version better.

With not much else to do we trundled into town for a couple of hours and got to see the place before the crowds awoke, which was a lot nicer than the other day. Il Campo was almost deserted and most streets had at most a handful of people on them, which was absolutely lovely. THIS is the Siena that I remember!

Soon enough it was time to head back to the station and catch the bus about 40 km south to Montalcino – don’t be fooled though; this trip takes about 1.25 hours! Roughly 600 m above sea level and a population (sans tourists) of about 5000, it is a beautiful little town. Tess was particularly keen to get in as she had read that there was a market on Fridays, but unfortunately she was a little disappointed. There was indeed a market, but she was expecting something like a farmer’s market rather than the quasi Trash’n’Treasure in front of us. Sad face.

In some ways Montalcino was a typical Tuscan hilltop town – steep, narrow winding streets lined with shuttered stone buildings, punctuated by piazzas and churches. However, it did have a wonderful slowness about it, which made for a lovely strolling kind of day. We wandered up and down throughout the town and sauntered along the edge of the town where many spectacular views were to be had.

Hunger soon got the better of us so we went shopping for a not too expensive restaurant to have lunch with a wine. There were many to choose from along the main street, some with spectacular views – though these were clearly the ridiculously expensive ones. We chose a little place called Tavola grappola blu, which was fantastic. I ordered a glass of the Brunello wine with my lunch and nicked outside to take a quick phone call. Unfortunately when I returned, I found that I had missed the ‘show’ of them pouring me a glass of Brunello. Ah well. I brought the burgundy liquid to my lips and....ahhhh. So good. I don’t know what year it was – Tess said she thought it was young, like 2009, but if it was wowee I’d like to have some older! It was amazing. Guess that’s why they can charge so much for it. Apparently the town can thank the wine for its affluence though – it was one of the poorest towns in the area in the 1960s and now it is the second richest.

Lunch dragged on for a little while...mostly because I didn’t really want to finish my glass of wine!  I probably could have ordered another one, but then I would have wanted to try other varieties and we needed to catch a bus at 2:45 pm. As it turns out the bus we thought we were catching wasn’t actually running that day, but there was a kind lady who helped us out with connecting buses and we eventually got back home.

We were in bed by about 8:30 pm, ready for another big day as we were off to San Gimignano the next day.

Montalcino photos.




Bring home a bottle for me.....

  Peter Oct 7, 2010 6:45 PM


Okay, reading this and looking at the photos - and that enormous glass - I can see why people go and have a year in Tuscany.

  Sally Oct 11, 2010 7:46 PM

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