November 20, 2011


A short drive through the country landed us in Siena. Arriving hungry, we immediately checked in and headed to Piazza del Campo. Lined with numerous restaurants, this was a perfect place to observe the locals as we enjoyed fantastic pizza and cold beers. While we sat, we read about the Palio horse race that's held twice a year around the perimeter of the piazza. It is crazy to imagine 60,000 people crammed into this small area to watch 10 horses circle the piazza 3 times in a race that only lasts roughly 90 seconds.

After we had our fill of pizza and beer, we headed to the Duomo. Generally, these types of tourist destinations are not my favorite, but I really enjoyed the gothic architecture and art of Siena's cathedral.

The rest of the day was spent sampling local fare as we wandered the streets and eventually ending up back where we started the day at Piazza del Campo.

November 5, 2011

San Gimignano to Montalcino

Once we left Volterra we had a short drive through wine country and arrived at small, medieval San Gimignano. This walled town, known for its towers, was a bustling tourist stop. We got the gist of it in just under 2 hours and then were back on the road.

Our drive to our next stop, Montalcino, was definitely our longest. It wasn't long before we were questioning our decision to take the roundabout route through the country instead of sticking to the main highways. Eventually we were highly rewarded as we passed through small towns on our way down a scenic winding road through wooded hills.

Although we didn't have time for any formal winery tours we passed through a couple and did a tasting of the regions famous Brunello and others at Argiano. Montalcino itself is a hilltop town surrounded by larger wineries such as Banfi. They say that if you do not like wine, you may not appreciate Montalcino. Needless to say we had a fantastic time enjoying the frequent stops for tastings as we wandered through this quaint medieval town.