The heart of Tuscany

Thursday, April 25, 2019 & Friday, April 26, 2019

Taking a break from culture to embrace the natural beauty of Tuscany.

For our stay in the heart of Tuscany, we picked Poggio Olivo, in the countryside near Montepulciano, as our home base. What a change of pace! The self-sufficient apartments are well furnished and the premises are very relaxing! Check to see it for yourself.

After exploring Siena, leisurely driving through the “Crete Senesi” is a visual experience of beauty and relaxation. Lush green hills covered with endlessly moving shades of yellow and spotted with red poppies, lavender irises and a variety of wildflowers, every turn, and every stretch is worth the utmost admiration!

We dedicated the second day to the famous Val D’Orcia, where the scenery is majestic and rows of cypress trees create the iconic views that we have seen in so many travel books and movies (i.e. “Under the Tuscan Sun”, and “The Gladiator”)!

Val D'Orcia, "The Gladiator" movie location

Val D’Orcia, “The Gladiator” movie location

Wow… We stopped so many times along the road, we took so many pictures, we braved the rain, we were blinded by the sun, and we stopped at places like Montepulciano, Abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Spedaletto castle, San Quirico d’Orcia, Pienza, to name a few. All will leave me with everlasting memories!

We visited the small town of Montalcino, known for its Brunello, and stopped at Enoteca di Piazza ( to find out more about this so-much-talked-about wine. Here is what we learned from the very knowledgeable staff:

1. There are 240 Brunello producers in the Montalcino area.
2. Brunello must be aged (preferably 10 years) in order to appreciate its full body and flavour, and should be served with rich meat dishes and strong cheeses.
3. Brunello packaged for tourists goes through a less stringent making process and therefore, are not very robust. It can be served with lighter fare.

So, go to an Enoteca and talk to the staff rather than quickly pick up the ”best deal” from an attractive store window.

Driving back on a dirt road, early evening, we caught the ”golden hour” and were in awe before such luminous shades of green, glimmering expanses of yellow, and a mesmerizing landscape…

Dinner at L’Angolo, in Aquaviva, where the service was superb and the food “superb-er”! 😘😘

This was a full day and we needed a good night sleep before returning to our ”home away from home” in Lucca.



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