Monday, 1 October 2012

Italy - Tuscany(1)

Having sorted our Internet connection for Italy, we took the A1 autostrada south, made an overnight stop outside Ravenna and continued the next day via Bologna to Florence along the autostrada weaving its way through the mountains and many tunnels. Roadworks is ongoing, improving this very busy road between the two cities.

Our introduction to rural Tuscany was the town of Greve in Chianti, the famous wine producing region of Italy.

On the piazza of Greve in Chianti

We ended up here because the GPS suggested a free camperstop in this town. Unbeknown to us it was the centre of the Chianti wine producing region in Italy. What a find, what a GPS! How did we ever manage without them?!
The camperstop is a 10 minute walk from the central piazza so we spent the morning taking a look around and buying some goodies from the deli counter in the Co-op. Well stocked deli counter too, we walked out with cold meats, salad, tomatoes, aubergines and bread for our meal of the day. Something was missing though and we found it here -

I said to the owner to recommend me a bottle of local Chianti (produced in Greve) for not more than 10 Euros. Without hesitation he chose one from the large selection of vintages and terroirs in his Enoteca, a Nozzole 2009 Chianti Classico. It was enjoyed over lunch and dinner, food and wine complimenting each other as it should.
We continued our walkabouts in Greve late afternoon and made our way up a hill to some viewpoint over the town. Typical Italianate roof tops and terracotta colours so well known in Tuscany. There was also a most exquisite terracotta artwork crowned by two cockerels, the emblem of Chianti.

Terracotta art

Rooftops of Greve

No piazza is complete without a statue, and Greve has its own 'famous' son too - Giovanni da Verrazzano. Navigator, Corsair, Discoverer of New York .... read on;

Giovanni da Verrazzano

When visiting countries and in this case the region of Italy where a world renowned wine is produced, it is something of an occasion! How often have we bought a Chianti and thought "I'd like to visit the place one day". Well we've been, and the region and wine have lived up to all expectations. To have seen first hand something which many will only ever talk about, is the essence of travelling.

Ripening on the vines (Sangiovese?)
From the hills of Greve in Chianti

Black Cockerel - emblem of Chianti

"Life's too short to drink bad wine" Anon.

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