Rain and Chianti

Chianti Country Italy

Sarah again had the quote of the day when she said “Look Kaitlyn! It’s so pretty! Ok, just imagine the sun.”

Yes indeed, it rained ALL DAY today.

But to back up, our day started in a particularly Italian fashion with a parking job that can only be described as “creative.”

Silver bullet parking

This is the kind of parking that happens in a country with no parking. I.e. Italy. We came in last night and the hotel parking lot was full. They have an alternative parking lot we couldn’t find and after driving down dirt roads into the wilderness, we came back into the city and asked the guys hanging out and smoking in front of our hotel where we should park. They waved at this crosswalk and said “Here. it’s fine. no trouble.” Sarah looked at me, shrugged and said “we have full coverage right?”  and we left our silver bullet to the mercies of the carabinieri and went to bed. Lo and behold, it was indeed fine when we woke up. Thanks guys!

We got up early today with high hopes of tooling around lovely Chianti country, all the postcards of which have rolling hills of greenery, scenic hay bales, red poppies, stunning sunsets and golden light every which direction. Doesn’t that sound like fantastic road tripping?

The good news is that we did get poppies (flattened into some modern impressionist version of themselves by my iPhone and the light…)

Poppies Chianti land

And definitely the greenery

Chianti country Italy

And I saw some hay bales. Through the rain. All these pictures were taken in rain and through rain while I was getting wet and stomping through mud because rain. All day. Rain. It persisted all day. ALL DAY! Doesn’t this weather know this is my last day in Italy (for now)? I mean, have some respect!!!

The entire floor on my side of the car is mud from getting in and out of the car. Sarah, bless her, stopped a million times for me to take pictures, although it wasn’t completely altruistic since her phone quit working yesterday and I’m “taking pictures for two” today. However, even with only rain and greenery to photograph, I still wanted to stop about 20 times an hour to get just the right… whatever… and finally Sarah said “Are there any more pictures in your head that I should know about? I just want to be prepared.” I finally said, “Nope, I’m done. I’m just looking at scenery now.” and she gave me the side eye and said “I give you 10 minutes.” I think I lasted 15. The joke for the rest of the day was “That’s beautiful. I’d take a picture but we can’t stop.”

Our first real stop though was this little walled medieval city called San Gimignano. I have tried to pronounce those words all day and I still can’t spell it without help.

San Gimignano

That walled fortress is still a city

San Gimignano

full of shops and restaurants and arched walkways

San Gimignano

And the remains of this little well with a stone frame like a picture. So we took one.

Sarah and Kaitlyn in San Gimignano

Look at me wearing red! I actually bought that red dress for Europe and brought it to Italy thinking that if ever I were to wear a red dress… Also, the good news about cold rainy weather is it cuts down on the number of tourists so pictures can be taken with minimum of interference.

That’s our first “nonselfie” picture so we celebrated with tiramisu and coffee on the prettiest table in all of Italy

San Gimignano

And then it was still rainy and even colder so we left and got back into our warm car and sped off towards Chianti country.

Chianti land

Oh, that’s hilarious. Actually, we sped off in the wrong direction away from Chianti country on a tiny little one lane/two way road that nearly gave Sarah a heart attack as it twisted and turned into the high hills and required us to scrape the edges of the ditch every time someone passed us. The first several times that happened were stomach clenchers and then Sarah started just gritting her her teeth and saying “full coverage!” before lurching the car into first gear again as we took off.

We could have used better maps or an actual onboard navigator in the form of (perhaps) a handsome dark haired man named Paolo, but we did get to see olive trees on our wrong way road

olive trees Chianti

And then we turned around and came back down the hill, back through Poggibonsi for the third time (although a town with a name that odd deserves at least a couple visits) and into Chianti country and our first vineyard.

Casale della Sparviero

It was good. The tasting was free! but Montagliari had better wine plus this cool display of bottles dating back to 1948 and a vineyard history dating back to 1720.Montigliari Winery

We wanted to stay there overnight but they were full so we pressed on, through Panzano with this most appropriate fountain for wine country

Panzano in Chianti

And then into Greve in Chianti where after a long search, we found a cute BnB for the night with this view over the vineyards of Chianti country (or ChiantiLand, as Sarah calls it).

Greve in Chianti

Dinner in the square at Ristorante Enoteca for our last night of antipasti and prosecco

Ristorante enoteca Greve

And pasta that was good but nothing like last night. In fact, we talked about the food from last night through all of dinner tonight. Reliving the glory.

And so ended our last rainy day in Italy. We have one more morning. I promise a parting shot of Italy, even if it rains. Buonanotte. XOX

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