GUYSSSSSS. Italy was magical. So magical. I feel like I could write 10,000,000 words about the beauty of Tuscany, but instead, I’m going to show you in pictures. Since there’s about a million pictures, I’m breaking it up in to two parts!
We left for Italy on a Friday afternoon, got to the airport and through security super fast and were settled in to the KLM priority lounge a couple of hours before our flight. If you’ve never used airport priority lounges and you CAN, you should make it happen. It’s amazing.
I obviously didn’t take photos of everything, but there was super delicious butter chicken and a pasta dish as well as a lot more food options than I took photos of. There were tons of different comfy seats to choose from, a proper dining area, faster wifi, really nice bathrooms with showers, etc. So worth it.
We had an 8.5 hour flight there which was overnight which meant we were hella tired once we finally arrived but still so happy.
It was a 2 hour drive to Sarteano, the town we were staying in, and took some time to find our villa, but we got there with the help of a little nun!
Once we got there, we unloaded our bags, checked out the view and headed straight for wine and pizza!
Wine in Italy is dirt cheap, by the way. In the restaurants, you’ll pay anywhere from 3-4 euros for a half litre. 1.50-2 for a quarter (16oz or 8oz) for the house red or white. In the stores, you can buy bottles for as little as 1.80 and they’re all good. Insane.
We split 3 pizzas: margherita, four cheese and truffle (tartufo or tartufata). We learned that we were staying the the region known for truffles so it was really cheap for truffle things AND it was in all of the restaurants. SO GOOD. We took our leftovers back to the villa and saved it for 1am pizza while standing around the fridge. Yes, that happened more than once with leftovers.
Mornings were several very strong coffees with either cold milk or steamed milk (not a latte) along with 3 of whatever pastries looked interesting. Some were croissant-like but sweeter, filled with either nutella, jam or cream and then various other pastries. All delicious. Always.
Americanos were 1 euro, pastries were 1 euro, pizzas ranged from 5-7 euros.
We drove through the towns and wandered for the first day after we got there to give our bodies time to adjust. We were stunned by the beauty. Also stunned by the gelato… which was lunch that day. Hazelnut for me! (Italy seems to be obsessed with hazelnut).
Followed by this random pastry that was also super yumm. Dinner was at the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever seen around 8pm. Restaurants don’t open for dinner until 7:30 and typically close by 9:30 in the smaller towns which we thought was lovely.
Driving in Florence was a nightmare and we definitely got ripped off a few times, but we went! We saw, we screamed, we nearly shit ourselves thinking we were going to die (driving), we paid 10 euros instead of 2.50 for gelato, we sweat our butts off in 44 degree heat aaaand then we left and found La Lastra Winery so we could drink and forget it ever happened.
At the end of this day we were really tired and not terribly hungry so we just ate some leftover pizza and salad and cracked a bottle of wine that we had bought. Nothing special. The next day we drove to Cortona and hit up the Baracchi winery.
I’ll leave it off here to continue with the Baracchi winery recap along with more wineries, more food and Rome in the next post!