It rarely rains on our Italy trips, but after 14 years of decent weather we were due for a soggy day. We went to the heart of Chianti, to Villa Pillo, and Elena welcomed us again. She took us through olive groves and vineyards, explained the history tied to the property, and went on to describe the types of grapes growing. The slow drip irrigation system offers innovation in the midst of deep tradition, to produce a wine that has earned seals of quality and distinction. Our travelers were treated to a fine wine tasting with a typical Tuscan luncheon: warm Tuscan soup with a mix of seasonal vegetables, flavorful spices and bread dipped in olive oil from the estate, mixed salad, prosciutto and other local deli meats, fresh parmesan and picorino, olives, local honey, and biscotti dipped in Vino Santo.
The atmosphere was warm and joyous, Rob offered profound and poetic toasts. By 2:00 p.m., it was time to bid “arriverderci” to our kind hosts, and drive on to San Gimignano, a well preserved Medieval hilltop village with countryside views “to die for”. Everyone tried to stay out of the rain as best as they could. The local merchants had to love the weather today, as their shops were filled with visitors. From hot chocolate to gelato, postcards to ceramics, everyone helped the local economy as best as they could. A late afternoon return to Florence gave everyone a chance to spend a free evening as they wished. “Buena sera” dear traveling companions! Drying grapes for Vino Santo: a delicate and lengthy process Villa Pillo in Gambassi-Terme with Elena