Under the Tuscan Rain

by Liz Dowling

Our Backroads trip said goodbye to the Italian Coast and hello to the Chianti region in Tuscany. We stayed in a town called Greve, south of Florence, at the beautiful Hotel Villa Le Barone.

Hanging in Greve for shopping and some lunch.

We got a lesson on the black rooster and its significance to the amazing Chianti Classico wines. Story is, Florence and Siena were in a battle over the Chianti region during the Middle Ages. Two roosters got to chose who got what in Chianti. Florence had a black rooster and Siena had a white one. When a rooster woke a knight on the day in question, he would get on his horse and ride as fast as he could to the other city, determining how much of the Chianti region he could amass. Florence starved their black rooster a few days before the contest, so it woke their knight up very early. He was practically in Siena when the white rooster woke up. That is why the black Florence rooster is pretty much on every bottle of Chianti Classico wine!

Florence has the majority of the wine region between the two cities.

After lunch, we started out on our afternoon hike, in the…. rain. Rain is a reoccurring theme during our time in Tuscany ๐Ÿ™‚

The tiny medieval town of Castello di Montefioralle, so pretty.

We were cold and wet when we got back to the hotel, so our 6:30 wine tasting was a welcome treat! Fabrizio dolled out some incredible wines and has a wine shop in Radda called Toscana Vini Prodotti Tipiciย where I bought a case of mixed Chianti Classico.

Still couldn’t shake the chill, so we had some vino by the fire after dinner. I love this room and the detail on the chairs!

The next day started in Radda with a balsamic vinegar tasting and time to shop and take in the town. Our big hike was in the afternoon, followed by yet another wine tasting at Castelvecchi winery. Yippee!

Fall was starting in this adorable town.

Emily got an amazing haircut for 50 euro!

A great day in Radda, and now we HIKE.

It didn’t look too bad out, weather wise, when we started our hike. But 15 minutes later….

The skies opened up. Lightning, thunder, hail. We all had to get into the Backroads vans, it was wild! Off to the wine tasting very early and as soon as we got there – the power went out.

Wine by candlelight in Tuscany, I’ll take it! Our Backroads leaders were incredible at pivoting when things like this happened. Never got flustered when they had to rearrange plans. I will say, they did admit the HAIL was a surprise and they never drove the vans so fast to pick us up!

Here is a little tour of our hotel. Too cool to swim, but here is the pool area.

Little snack bar when the pool is open. So cute.

The perfect Tuscan hotel.

Emily posing in our room. Look at the cool ceiling detail.

Backroads finished – we did it! Everyone was dropped in Florence, so a big round of goodbyes with our new friends.

Em and I had one day/night to shop in Florence and regroup before catching the train early the next morning to the Rome airport.

What an amazing trip…. Last Aperol Spritz at the Hotel Cellai. Ciao Italy!!!!

the wry home

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Kathryn mcdonald October 20, 2022 - 6:42 am


Liz Dowling October 20, 2022 - 7:57 am

When in Chianti, it is all about wine!

Anonymous October 20, 2022 - 7:52 am

What a lovely trip, and added to all the many great trips you have taken

Love, Gams

Liz Dowling October 20, 2022 - 7:58 am

Thank you!

Melinda Sweet October 26, 2022 - 5:31 pm

How beautifully you captured the essence of Tuscany. It makes me want to revisit and enjoy its beauty.

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