Saturday, July 30, 2011

When Friends Visit...

You might wonder what I do on my vacations, well actually I go on tours with my friends =)  I was fortunate to have one of my closest girlfriends, Janelle, in town for a week.  I felt like I'd gone to summer camp!  It was fantastic; I was totally on vacation with her!  Every day eating well, drinking amazing wine, touring Florence, visiting Greve and touring wineries in the country.  Soooo my next several posts will be about our adventures in and around Florence.
The first day we went to see the Picasso, Miro, Dali installment at the Strozzi museum.  This was a great way to put us in the art mood while we walked around the historic center of Florence. 
On the way to lunch we stopped to taste olive oils at a quaint little shop just off Borgo San Apostoli, not far from the Ponte Vecchio.  This little shop is hidden but if you manage to find it you'll be very pleased with the selection of olive oils you can try, and the numerous cosmetics and soaps which are made from an olive oil base. Of course we couldn't resist taking away a couple small purchases.
After a quick lunch near Santa Croce, we found ourselves near the Palazzo Pitti and felt obligated to stop by Pitti Gola Enoteca wine bar for degustazione di vino, or wine tasting.  We sat out on the terrace which is very peaceful thanks to the new traffic laws which forbid most cars and noisy motorinos from passing through the Piazza Pitti, and there are no cars parked in the piazza so you have an unobstructed view of the enormous and refined Palazzo. 
We were fortunate to arrive just before the rush and tasted four amazing wines from the Chianti region, Chianti Riserva "Val Delle Corti" 2007, Rosso di Montalcino "Salicutti" 2007, Brunello di Montalcino "Il Colle" 2004, and a Chianti "Castello di Monsanto" 2001 which was a limited production (just 100 bottles), hand selected for Pitti Gola Enoteca.  Not surprisingly, we made dinner reservations for a few days later.  Our light dinner consisted of tartare of beef, mixed selection of pecorino cheeses, followed by hand made pasta and tomatoe ragu accompanied by a lovely Brunello. 
Reservations are suggested, 39.055.212704.

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