Sunday, July 4, 2010

Magnificent Montepulciano

Wonderful Wine Country

Where the
trifecta of medieval, renais-
sance and amazing intersect, you'll find Monte-
pulciano. "Montey P" stole our hearts and became a treasured Tuscan favorite at first site.

Just a stone's throw from our home base in S. Albino, the hilltop picturesque Montepulicano views are easy to drink-in, even if the name doesn't quite roll-off the tongue.

While pictures don't do Montey-P justice, trust me when I say that the valley vistas are as pretty as those found on a dinner plate (and I mean that in only the best of ways).

Perched on a hilltop over-
looking rolling hills and valleys, Monte-
pulciano is in the heart of wine country and our rent car brought us here over hill and dale. We realized we were actually traveling on La Strada del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or "the road of the nobile wine of Montepulciano," — the wonderful worldly known wine that Montey-P is known for.

Vino Nobile
di Monte-
pulicano is a DOCG statused wine that's crafted from San-giovese grape and without getting technical, your taste buds and tummy will jointly toast it a winner.

Suggested Stay:

The longer, the better! Dare me.

Must See | Do:

Legatoria Koine ~ The dismay from accidentally leaving my travel journal stateside turned delight when I stumbled into Legatoria Koine. Here we met "Gabriella" who shared stories of how she's learned the skills passed down through generations of leather-making artisans. Her tools of the trade? Paint brushes, razors and a old stick that she used to make beautiful raised spine photo albums, books and journals. I know... a stick?! She even made the fine paper that found itself bound inside the leathered works of wonder.

We were so impressed with the quality and affordability of these items that we found it easy to make another trip into town to buy more journals for friends back home.

Palazzo Comunale ~ In the heart of the Piazza Grande you'll find the Palazzo Comunale (the Town Hall) ~ boasting a Texas-sized clock tower that dates back to the 14th century. It's so impressive the movie New Moon used it for a memorable red flag draped backdrop. Best of all, for just 2 € you can walk up the historic and stunning center staircase to the top deck. The valley views from the top? Worth a million €! Make a click on the pic above and get a closer-up view!

Cattedrale di Santa Maria ~ The Palazzo Comunale's nextdoor neighbor (alla sua destra) is this giant and outwardly under-stated cathedral. While it looks like a big brick barn, once inside you will find yourself transformed to its origins, compliments of the year 1492, about 400 years prior to the Alamo. Yep, folks, this place is experienced. And it amazingly welcomes visitors for free.

Osteria Acquacheta ~ Our villa hosts actually supply firewood that keeps the wood burning oven aglow here. So when our host Laura recom-
mended Acqu-
acheta, we obliged by eating here... and we were glad we did. I had no idea this place was an international favorite until after my return visit home, as I completed further research for this post.

Unpretentious and popular with the locals, Osteria Acquacheta focuses on food quality over presentation. Charming is included for free.

This Italian region is as proud of it's beef as we are of our Bevo-inspired chest beats and your eyes will widen *almost* as thick as the cuts of meat found here. Also delicious is the region's famed pici pasta, a thick wide pasta that will make carb lovers' hearts skip with glee. Reservations suggested.

Fine Wine ~ When in Texas, you toast with a margarita. And when in Italy, you celebrate the good life with fine wine. You won't have to look far to find the Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. It's all around you! Enjoy it for lunch and at the end of the day as you drawn in the last rays of the setting sun. It's here in Tuscany where you'll find yourself in your favorite country outside Texas.

My new Texas Lotto winning numbers? 43°06N 11°47E. Those are Montepulciano's geo-coordinates and my luck will last long if my Texas toes are fortunate enough to revisit them again.

Despite the beautiful and intoxicating qualities of memorable Montepulciano, we had to embark on our next destination... the charming village of Cortona. And just like the popular movie that was filmed here, it was another pleaser.

for the love of : italy

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