Saturday, August 16, 2008

Montepulciano fun!

When we travel we usually go to New York to visit family, and so consequently haven't really been to many places here in Italy. So when we decided to meet fellow bloggers we read regularly, Jane, Ken and their grandson Casey (Casey, Italy and Other Good Stuff and KZ in Toscana (or KC is So Cal), we chose to meet them while they were lodged in Montepulciano, a Tuscan town that we've often heard about (famous for their red wine) but had never visited.

We were lucky to get a room for three people for one night at La Terrazza de Montepulciano, a 12-room hotel right in the Historical Center of the town. The owners were very friendly and helpful and made us feel at home, but the room was a little noisy at night as our window faced the main drag. Oh well, we were so tired that after a couple of minutes we all fell soundly asleep, but I'm getting ahead of my story!

On our first day in town, we met them at a restaurant that had been recommended to us by our hotel, but we were mostly disappointed in the food, unfortunately. We then followed them back to their favorite place to stay, right outside Montepulciano, Sant'Antonio. It really is quite special with attractive one- and two-bedroom apartments, endless views and a fun pool for the kids to play in. It's a hard place to get into during high-season as they have lots of repeat customers who must book for a minimum of one week. But Dante got a chance to enjoy the pool and play with Casey and some other children there. The boys had fun while the adults chit-chatted about this and that from lunch straight through to an outstanding dinner, a Wednesday-night-only event at Sant' Antonio, prepared by a professional chef who is also part of the extended family. The meal was exquisite, perhaps one of the best I've ever had! I especially loved the famous hand-made Tuscan pasta called Pici, prepared with bread crumbs, and the ricotta cheese "pie" we had for desert which was only held down from floating off the plate by the fruti di bosco that sat on top..

The following day we walked around Montepulciano. I'm regretting a bit not buying that handmade soft leather bag I coveted (OK, it WAS one of the most expensive in the store and I would have probably needed to buy a coat and boots too that would have looked good with it...and where, exactly was I going to wear all this great stuff anyway? You see how my reasoning went, even though my birthday IS this coming week...) and then out to lunch at a small restaurant called La Porta in nearby Monticchiello. We wouldn't have found it if Ken hadn't led the way. The views of the countryside while driving there were stupendous! Rolling hills, cypress trees, baled up hay, sunflowers drying in the fields, views that went on forever, Tuscan-style. Just beautiful...and the food was really good too!
We've invited Jane, Ken and Casey to visit us next summer, especially if they go to Greve and then head down to the Amalfi coast...we're right along the way!


Daisy said...

Wow! Everything sounds beautiful. There are so many great aspects of checking out new places: the sights, the smells, the food, the people - makes me wish I hadn't already used up all my vacation time... I'd love to travel some more!

Anonymous said...

How fun that you got to meet up with Jane, Ken, & Casey. I read Jane's blog, she's a great writer.

Diane said...

Yes, Montepulciano and the surrounding area were beautiful and only about three hours away from us. It was especially fun to meet and spend time with Jane, Ken and Casey who are very nice and knew the area so well. We'll definitely have to return.

Jane said...

Diane, just got home and catching up on blogs. It was fun to see this. We sure had a great time with you guys. I plan to write about it once things settle down. should have bought the purse. Say hello to Pio and Dante.

Ice Tea for Me: Thanks for the nice words.