Monday, June 13, 2011


Today we had a guided half-day excurson to the Chianti region.  Gorgeous!!!  First we went to a town called Greve which is almost as beautiful as Figline (but I am very biased so "almost as beautiful as Figline" is pretty high praise).  The piazza is actually nicer and the shops around it are amazing (I use that word so much talking about this trip).  I can't wait to go back!

Sting's place:

A good Tuscan man, Pinocchio:

Giovanni da Verrazzano:

What do culinarians get excted about?  Knives!  This shop has tons of kitchen stuff made of olive wood.  I wish I'd had money to spend in there!  I was down to about ten euros by this time (though I would find ten more in a bag pocket when I got home).

In the Chianti Region everything has black roosters on it.

There are pretty boys just everywhere!

I have no idea what this thing is, but I'm intrigued.

We also get very excited about meat and cheese.  We've come to the right place!

This is all peccorino like we had at our tasting at Chef Claudio's and it's at about the same three stages of aging.  Some of the oldest stuff here has tomatoes or olives on the rind instead of the herbs like what we ate at Claudio's.  Next time I'm here I will buy some!  I think that you're allowed to bring this home, so I'll even share.

This was a very neat place!

Grappa--no friend of mine!

A very good year!

Now, THIS is good stuff!

From Greve we went to Panzano--another gorgeous, ancient town amongst many.  Man, I love this country!  We started at Dario Cecchini's butcher shop where we were plied with wine and snacks and then we went downstairs to one of his restaurants, Mac Dario.

Dario took that whole mad cow thing very hard.

Dario's wife, Kim, is from California.

I love this place!

That's Dario behind the pig.

I love the communal tables in restaurants.  Another group of Americans, from Colorado, sat next to me.

Of course I peeked in the kitchen.


Now that's a burger!

Oh, my!


This place, Accademia del Buon Gusto intrigues me very much.  I will go in next time!

I found this:

A real castle!

I think I would follow anywhere this path might lead.