Monday, 26 October 2015

Tuscany


What a beautiful region this is…

Tuscany is very large and quite varied and we head off for Chianti country as there are some obvious attractions. But wherever you wander the scenery is the business
We travel not too far from Florence to arrive on a lovely 'Sosta' (Italian version of Stellplatz or Aire) in Greve in Chianti


Given we were both still quite tired from the Florence trip yesterday we break out Fozz and go discovering the numerous hilltop villages




Radda in Chianti is home to several art galleries and restaurants who do a roaring trade with the tourists
These priceless gems were in the street awaiting the couriers





Seems reasonable


The hills around here are real killers to cycle so we were surprised to see these fit Americans in such numbers


We guess they were on biking holidays as the back up squad looked quite well organised


Next day we decide it would be good to go walking in the hills so lunch is packed and we don boots and set off. We slip in to the village first to post some cards and discover an 'Enoteca'


Its a wine tasting cellar with the novelty of having the ability to do your own tasting


How dangerous was this?
You take a card and simply insert it in to whatever wine station takes your fancy and sample to your heart's content


And there she is, like a child in a chocolate shop!





OMG, we were supposed to be walking right?
To compound matters I twice selected small taster samples of best quality wine to then find the wine in my glass had sediment and made it undrinkable 
The guys behind the counter rectified this on both occasions by pouring full measures for me by way of compensation….


We had a moment of clarity and feeling dizzy (no food) paid the bill and set off walking straight up the steep slope out of town in to the countryside


The beautiful village of Montefioralle that overlooks Greve







Next day we relocate to a beautiful village, San Gusmo up in the hills above Siena


We immediately break out Fozz and ride down to Siena through some stunning scenery, parking just outside the city walls next to a dream Harley
One day perhaps...


Meantime its me and the Scoot, Nina




The Torre del Mangia in the Palazzo Pubblico




Its around this severely sloping market place that the famous Palio di Siena race is run twice a year


Looks like lunacy but great fun
Thick dirt is laid on the cobbles and the riders have just 3 laps to race (at an angle of 45 degs)
If a riderless horse crosses the line first, its won!
The horse is the star and quite rightly so, each representing a different area of the Commune 




Returning to San Gusmo we stop and take several shots of the vineyard country



Back at the village the bells are chiming and we take an evening stroll through the quiet narrow streets





Nina's Italian counterpart has beaten her to it and opened a wine shop...




Antipasti for two


And the best view surely...



Stuff of dreams for us…


One of the best wild camping spots we've discovered on our travels


Buona notte!


Seems a shame to move on but we relocate to Torrita di Siena and within Fozzie reach of Montepulciano
She's been banging on about this wine for so long now we just had to visit






View from the town


Italian Pussy...



It was strangely calm here which made it really nice to walk and browse the sights


There it is commanding superb views of Southern Tuscany


We even managed a short visit to San Quirico D'Orcia in the late afternoon


We are in a routine now which sees us trundling quite slowly through the hills of this beautiful area, staying at a good spot for a couple of days and using the bike to discover little villages we would have no chance parking up at usually
As a treat I change the oil on Fozz in recognition of his sterling efforts lugging us around on his little eager engine...