Bachelorette Party in Tuscany – part 1

RO: Nici nu ne-am intors bine de pe meleaguri toscane, nici n-am apucat sa punem cap la cap articolele si sa aranjam pozele, dar parc-ai musai sa punem pe hartie cateva din locurile vazute. Nu de alta, dar ca de obicei, lista de orasele minunate a fost lunga si parca prea multe-s regretele ca n-am ajuns in toate πŸ˜€ Si cum sigur, sigur mai gasim noi un prilej sa ne intoarcem pentru a treia oara in Toscana, sa avem detaliile la indemana πŸ™‚ Si-o sa lasam Florenta deoparte, ca doar pentru inima Toscanei ai nevoie de-o vacanta separata, si-o sa ne focusam pe sudul Toscanei, indeosebi regiunea Siena, ca doar acolo-s peisajele acelea autentice, cu drumuri albe si inguste, strajuite de chiparosi inalti, cu dealuri pline de podgorii ori maslini, cu castele de piatra cocotate in varf de coline, pensiuni agroturistice si multa, dar poate chiar prea multa mancare delicioasa si gelato care-ti cam da dependenta.

EN: We just returned from Tuscan lands and did not have enough time to prepare all the articles and edit the pictures, but we really have to put some of the places seen in writing. As usual, the list of things to see in Tuscany was way too long and there are quite a few regrets that we have not reached all of them πŸ˜€ And for sure we’ll soon find another good reason to visit Tuscany for the third time. so we should have all the details at hand πŸ™‚ We’ll skip Florence for the moment, as for the heart of Tuscany you need a separate vacation, and we’ll focus on the southern part of Tuscany, particularly on Siena region, as that’s where those authentic landscapes are, with all those white narrow roads, framed by tall cypress trees, hills covered by wineries or olive trees, rock castles perched up the hills, farm stays and lots and lots (maybe a bit too much) delicious food and gelato soooo good that causes us dependence.
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RO: Si daca tot am inceput petrecerea de burlacite in capitala culinara a Italiei (care surpriza, nu-i nici Napoli, nici Roma, nici Milano – ci Bologna cu ai sai tortellini in brodo, lasagna bologneza sau cu originalul spaghetelor bolognese si-anume pastele tagliatelle al ragu, cu mortadella, prosciutto, parmezan ori sunca de Parma), ei bine, e musai sa continuam in acelasi ton dezmatul si sa cautam in Toscana ceea ce n-o sa ne dea niciodata regiunea Emilia Romagna: vinul πŸ˜€ Nu c-ar fi prea rau Lambrusco-ul spumant, dar parca un Chianti ori un Brunello di Montalcino in patria vinului si-a strugurilor Sangiovese suna mult, muuuuult mai tentant.

EN: And now that we’re started our bachelorette party in the culinary capital of Italy (which surprise, surprise, is not Napoli, Rome or Milan – but Bologna with its tortellini in brodo, lasagna bologneze or with those original spaghetti bolognese that are actually tagliatelle al ragu pasta, mortadella, prosciutto, parmeggiano or Parma ham) so, oh well, we really have to continue on the same note with this feast and search in Tuscany for something that Emilia Romagna region will never give us: the wine πŸ˜€ Not that the sparkling Lambrusco wine is not good enough, but a Chianti or perhaps a Brunello di Montalcino here, in the land of wine and Sangiovese grapes, sounds much, muuuuuch more tempting.
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RO: Si-apoi, nicio vizita in Toscana parca nu-i completa fara o degustare de vinuri locale. Sau fara un tur in crama. Noi le-am facut pe amandoua la Castello Volpaia (unde am si stat cazate), insa din pacate nu vi-l recomandam deloc. Chiar daca locul este frumos si privelistile din jur sunt spectaculoase, am avut o experienta destul de neplacuta cu gazdele.Β Dar slava cerului, e plina Toscana de pensiuni agroturistice care mai de care mai frumoase, cu privelisti de-ti sta mintea in loc, camere superbe, piscine infinity, terase minunate, chiparosi cat vezi cu ochii si podgorii intregi pe dealurile dimprejur. Asa ca-i plin si booking-ul de astfel de pensiuni, dar mai ales site-ul italian agriturismo.it πŸ™‚ Si ce e de-a dreptul grozav e ca preturile sunt chiar decente, iar experienta este foarte autentica. Nu mai pomenim nimic despre mancarea de la pensiuni, ca iar ajungem sa umplem articolul numai cu poze cu mancare πŸ˜€

EN: And then… no visit in Tuscany is complete without a local wine tasting. And a tour in the wine cellars. We did both of them at Castello Volpaia (where we also had accommodation) but unfortunately we do not recommend this place at all. Even if the place is beautiful and the surrounding views are spectacular, we had quite an unpleasant experience with the hosts. But thanks God, Tuscany is full of gorgeous farm stays, with mind blowing views, beautiful rooms, infinity pools, lovely terraces, cypress trees as far as the eyes can see and vineyards all over the surrounding hills. And booking.com is full of this type of farm stays and also the Italian website agriturismo.itΒ πŸ™‚ And wha’t’s truly great is the fact that the prices are really decent and the entire experience very authentic. Not to mention the food they are serving at the farm stays, we’ll probably end up filling the article with food pictures only πŸ˜€
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RO: Iar daca ideea unei pensiuni agroturistice sau ferme nu pare suficient de tentanta, atunci cu siguranta castelele toscane vor fi Raiul pe pamant. Cocotate in varf de deal, de parca ar veghea toate podgoriile de sus, doar doar sa nu se maneze boaba de strugure Sangiovese πŸ™‚ Pai cum altfel sa iasa Chianti-ul cel mai savuros? πŸ™‚ Iar daca aveti nevoie de o recomandare de hotel-castel fabulos, Castello Banfi il Borgo din apropiere de Montalcino ramane inca in topul listei noastre de preferinte.

EN: And just in case the farm stays doesn’t sound tempting enough, then the Tuscan castles will be Heaven on Earth for sure. Perched up on the hills, as if they would stand over the wineries from up above just to be sure that no grain of Sangiovese grapes is ruined. How else would we have the tastiest Chianti wine? πŸ™‚ And if you need a fabulous castle-hotel recommendation, Castello Banfi il BorgoΒ from nearby Montalcino is still on top of our preferences.
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RO: Si-ncepem aventura in Pienza, orasul de pe valea Orciei unde in fiecare colt de strada miroase a branza pecorino. De fapt si de drept, Pienza este fostul satuc Corsignano, transformat de catre Papa Pius al II lea in orasul perfectiunii urbanistice renascentiste, orasul ideal. Si nici nu-i de mirare c-are asa faima, daca stai sa te gandesti cat e de reusit tot mixul arhitectural, cu palatul Piccolomini, primaria si piata centrala fix in mijlocul orasului. N-o fi reusit el Papa Pius al II lea sa transforme complet orasul dupa planurile sale idealiste si nici nu si-a vazut visul complet implinit, insa Pienza e unul dintre cele mai frumoase orase din toata Toscana! Si apropo, e musai, dar musai o degustare de branza pecorino! Ori la magazinele de pe mijlocul strazii, unde poti incerca toate tipurile posibile de pecorino, ori de ce nu, la o ferma din apropiere. Noi am trecut pe lista ferma Podere il Casale pentru data viitoare cand mai suntem in zona si ne-apuca pofta de branza pecorino πŸ™‚ Daaar slava cerului nu doar pecorino e demential de gustoasa in Pienza, ci si clasica mozzarella. Iar pentru cei care mai au obsesii culinare similare cu ale noastre, pizzeria restaurant Pummaro are o mozzarella absolut dementiala!

EN: And we’re starting our adventure in Pienza, the city from val d’Orcia where every corner of the streets smell like pecorino cheese. In fact, Pienza is the former village called Corsignano, transformedΒ by Pope Pius II in theΒ touchstone of Renaissance urbanism, the Utopian city. No wonder it has such a fame, if you think about how perfect the architectural mix is, with Piccolomini palace, the city hall and the central market right in the middle of the city. Maybe Pope Pius II did not manage to transform the city completely and see its dream completely fulfilled, but Pienza is indeed one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany! And by the way, it is absolutely mandatory to go to a pecorine cheese tasting! Either at the food stalls from the main street, or why not, from a nearby farm. We’re putting on the list Podere il CasaleΒ farm for next time when we’ll be around and we’ll be craving for some pecorino πŸ™‚ Buuuut luckily not only pecorino is extremely good here in Pienza, but also the classic mozzarella cheese. For those who have similar culinary obsessions as we do, Pummaro restaurant has an absolutely gorgeous mozzarella!
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RO: A si n-am putea sa incheiem prima parte a articolului toscan fara sa spunem doua vorbe despre Cinquecento πŸ™‚ Ce-i drept, ne-ar fi tentat tare mult o piticanie de Fiat 500 vechi de cand lumea, insa nu ne-a permis nici bugetul (sunt tururi organizate de catre cei de la 500 Touring Club, aproximativ 250 euro pe zi inchiriatul), nici abilitatile de soferite netalentate in ale condusului fara servo-directie πŸ˜€ Vorbim in partea a doua despre celelalte minuni de orasele toscane pe care le-am vizitat, despre Montalcino, Montepulciano, Colle di Val d’Elsa sau Greve in Chianti. Si mai punem pe lista si-un Pitigliano, chiar daca-i durmul lung pana in provincia Grosseto, iar de-am avea inca vreo doua zile, cu siguranta am ajunge iarasi pana la Civita di Bagnoregio, Orasul care Moare cum ii spun italienii, atat de frumos si pitoresc ca nu-ti vine a crede ca exista asa minunatie la sud de Toscana, pe drumul spre Roma.

EN: Ah, and we couldn’t end our first part of our Tuscan experience without saying a few words about Cinquecento πŸ™‚ To be honest, we would have been tempted to rent an ever-lasting vintage Fiat 500, but our budget did not allow us to do this (there are organized tours atΒ 500 Touring Club, around 200 euros per day) and either our driving skills (not used to drive cars without power steering Β πŸ˜€ We’ll talk in the second part of this article about the other gorgeous towns we’ve seen, about Montalcino, Montepulciano, Colle di Val d’Elsa orΒ Greve in Chianti. And we’ll add on the list a bit of Pitigliano, even if there is quite a long way until we get to Grosseto province, and if we would have had just two more days for sure we would have visited Civita di Bagnoregio, The Dying City as the Italians call it, so beautiful and picturesque that one can hardly believe there is such a gorgeousness in the southern part of Tuscany, on our way to Rome.
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