Day 1 Sept 21, Monday
Giovanni and Marcella meet the group at Firenze airport and whisk them to Agriturismo Il Colle where we have antipasto and prosecco outside of our farmhouse.
Dinner is frittata and of course, more wine.
Day 2 Sept 22, Tuesday
Figline Market for early risers: Carol, Marcie and Lois while Bill and M’liss go horseback riding at Vecchio Texas.
Lunch outside on the terrace at Osteria Le Panzanelle in Lucarelli, near Radda In Chianti
Visit with Nora at Chianti Cashmere Goat farm http://www.chianticashmere.com
Stroll through the medieval town of Radda
Light dinner and visit with good friend and our neighbor, Elettra
Day 3 Sept 23, Wednesday
Wine session with Stefano of Accademia Buon Gusto in Panzano
Stroll through Greve, dodging the rain before our cooking class with Alessandro and company at La Cantina.
Day 4 Sept 24, Thursday
We pick up Cristina in Figline for our trip to Lipu Montepulciano for birdwatching, nature trails, and bike riding. We get lost and end up riding abut 15 km! Nicola prepares a special lunch, then we visit the walled town of Montepulciano and enjoy visiting an ancient winery.
Day 5 Sept 25, Friday
Off to Fiesole in the morning to meet my friend Anna where we hike the area at Mount Cecheri where the stonecutters lived and worked and Leonardo tried out his flying machines. Spectacular views of Florence! Picnic at the top.
We take the scenic #7 ( and crowded!) bus down to Florence where Bill, M’liss, and Carol tour the Uffizi with Anna while Lois and Terry enjoy the frescoes at the Branacci Chapel.
We later meet for a drink to discuss our adventures.
Aperitivo night in Florence: “Italian for fun” with Cristina. Our first stop is the old prison, Le Murate, which has been restored as a cultural center and houses the School of Architecture at the University of Firenze.
Next we go to the rooftop patio of the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi where we have a 360-degree view of Florence.
Day 6 Sept 26 , Saturday
We are invited to harvest grapes with Giovanni’s family in San Polo and have lunch in the fields with his multigenerational group.
Cristina and Luca deliver dinner to us at Il Colle before we go to Vicchi to hear the male deers “sing” under the full moon. We are able to see, smell, and hear them. It is a night to remember!
Day 7 Sept 27, Sunday
Hike with Malo to the top of Poggio Alle Croce
Amazing snacks served at Malo’s House
Dinner at Zia Emilia’s in Poggio alla Croce
Day 8 Sept 28, Monday
In Florence, we walk up to the top of the Duomo.Carol has her portrait done by Kelly while we all watch, fascinated by the process. Terry was able to find Trattoria Nella on Via de Terme, a place he visited a number of years ago.
We find Lois’s favorite paper store, Il Torchio Legatoria Artigian, on the Oltre Arno, and have new gelato experience at Cantina del Gelato.
Ever try Mint, Pineapple, and Ginger gelato? Or Turmeric and fig?
Bus up to Piazzale Michelangelo and walk up to the church of San Miniato.
M’liss and Marcella buy “Melissa Extract” from the monks to help with insomnia. ( It seemed to work of both of us, by the way!)
Art night with Lois and Marcie, Gelli printing (mono printing) on the dining room table
Day 9 Sept 29, Tuesday
Early start to visit Volterra, a walled Etruscan hill town famous for Alabaster workshops
Lois and Terry visit two museums while the rest of the group discover an old theater where we are given an impromptu tour.
We host a dinner party tonight! There are about 18 of us enjoying Bistecca Fiorentino grilled by our very own Giovanni and also papa Pomodoro, minestrone, rosemary potatoes, and three different home made cakes! And of course, plenty of wine and prosecco.
Day 10 Sept 30, Wednesday
Bill, M’liss, Terry and Lois arrive at the Florence train station to depart for Venice, and Carol wings her way home to San Francisco.
In January 2016 we will have a reunion in San Francisco and Giovanni and Francesca have promised to come!