Friday, September 27, 2019

Friday, September 27, 2019

beautiful hilltop Montalcino

Posted by Hippobean at 9:11 PM
This morning the view at the breakfast in the hotel terrace was magnificent with mount amiata in clear full view.

Early morning panoramic drive to San Quirico, another town on the Via Francigena pilgrimage route, passing through cypress landscape where some of the scenes from the Gladiator was filmed. San Quirico D'Orcia, beautiful cathedral, narrow cobble stoned streets, town quiet in the early morning.

After exploring the village, we descended to cross the Asso river and followed undulating trails with views of the Val D'Orcia. This time of the year, the fields were bare and grey. No crops so this part of the hike was quite dull and boring. Picnic lunch again in a vineyard but no views of the hill town of Montalcino. Frederica brought a bottle of red from her boyfriend's farm. Quite good wine. Another satisfying picnic lunch of a different breads, cheeses, prosciutto and turkey, olives and cucumbers and biscuits and cookies. The last part of the trail was uphill to Montalcino.

Montalcino had several beautiful churches, a nice main drag and square piazza del popolo with shops and cafes but it was the Rocca that was worth the visit. It offered fantastic views of the town and church towers. After visiting it, I settled down for one last gelato. The Brunello di Montalcino wine was very good.

Back at pienza, i painted town and looked for a new place to dine. Last dinner in Toscana, I had wanted pappardelle with mushroom and didnt want to do La buca de Fate again. By chance I saw pasta in the little cafe next to the hotel and they did have pasta with porcini. So I've ordered it. While waiting at an outside table, I've heard a microwave ding. Sure enough the pasta tasted like frozen dinner. But it did satisfied my yearning for porcini. One last tea at the cloisters and it's off to
Firenze, the trip's last destination.

San Quirico photos:

Montalcino photos:



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