Seriously beautiful up there huh? So in 3 days, I will have been in Montalcino exactly one year ago. I'm not really sure what happens to the time, but I'm ready to blog our day adventure. As you can see, I'm totally on top of things over here.
So Montalcino. I explained in my Siena post that our one truly spontaneous moment took place when we decided to take a day trip to Montalcino. With some help of Carlotta, we figured out how to buy bus tickets and where to catch the bus (not the main bus station). It's important to know that neither Ben nor I speak any Italian. We learned some basic words, like hello, please, thank you, glass of red wine, but that's pretty much it. I was pretty proud that I learned to order two bus tickets though. Anyway, we waited at a bus stop on the side of the road outside the town gates constantly repeating the bus number because we only had one chance to catch the bus that day for the hour long ride to Montalcino. When it came, it was FULL. And I mean full. We didn't really know what to do, and we couldn't really ask. Two or so people pushed their way on in front of us so we did too. I mean it was our one chance! We were standing in the aisle, past the little line, basically crowding the bus driver who didn't seem to care at all. Remember this was an HOUR long drive along country roads. I was sweating up a storm sure I was going to fall right onto someone, the bus driver, or the windshield. Every stop I kept hoping someone would get off, but no one did. Then at one stop, this little old lady got on and pushed her way on just like we did. At that point, I had one hand able to grasp the back of a seat, and Ben, behind me, squeezed my knee between his legs to help steady me on curves. Finally at some stops, a few people would get off, but that meant we all had to get off the bus in order to let them out. The little old lady at one stop just started chuckling, saying something to me in Italian, and rested her head on my shoulder. So apparently the fullnes of the bus was not normal, and it was nice to commiserate together without even being able to understand each other. About half hour or so into the drive, about half the bus, all teenagers, got off in a small town, and we were able to get seats and breathe the rest of the way. It was an experience.
When we arrived in Montalcino, we were blown away by how pretty it was. We walked around the walls of the city and went to a wine tasting room in the fortress. We tried another glass sitting outside of Caffe Fiaschetteria Italiana, a cafe founded by the creater of Brunello, until the cold got to us. We walked some more and ended up at a wine store where you could swipe your card, taste a bottle, repeat as many times as you wanted, and then pay at the end. If you bought the bottle you tried, the tasting was free. Unfortunately we didn't have any room to fit wine bottles into our backpacks especially at the beginning of the trip. We finally ended up eating dinner at a random restaurant where the entire back windows were the view of the hills. Amazing. But really the Brunello was the star of the day. That wine is good, let me tell you. A bit pricey over here, but oh so delicious.
|The wine tasting was in here|
|We sat outside in the seating you see there on the right.|
|This wall had the stone painted on it. It cracked me up.|
Now do yourself a favor and go try some Brunello!