Select Page

2017 Swiss-Italy Trip Countdown (T-2)

Written by Jeff Drake
9 · 25 · 17

Wow, busy times! Lisa is appreciating more and more the benefits of having someone else handle all the itinerary details. Personally, I think Lisa missed her calling. She is so meticulous! She’d have made a great travel agent.

One of the Italian cities we’ll be staying in was a favorite of ours during our last visit in 2009 – San Gimignano. Actually, our B&B is just outside the city walls – yep, it’s one of those beautiful Tuscan walled hill cities you see in television ads all the time.

02 San Gimignano floutist-1

The guy in the photo above was someone we ran into walking through a little park in San Gimignano. How perfect was that?

While in San Gimignano, we’re going to spend one morning truffle hunting with a guide, then we are all going to have an Italian cooking lesson and make a late lunch with the truffles we picked in the morning. Oh yeah, I suspect there will be wine, too.

Speaking of wine, we booked a wine tour that will take us into an area in Tuscany ruled by two wine giants, Nobile de Montepulciano and his wealthy cousin, Brunello. It’s a small group tour, includes a visit to an ancient fortress, several wineries to sample Chianti, lunch (with wine), and a visit to a winery that specializes in Brunello di Montalcino – in the town of Montalcino (oh, surprise). I’m really looking forward to this.

Brunello is related to bruno, which means “brown”, the name given to grape variety that was grown there in the 1800’s. Around 1879 the Italian commission responsible for wine designations determined that Brunello grapes and Sangiovese were in fact, the same grape variety! They decided that this grape variety would heretofore be referred to officially as Sangiovese. In Montalcino, a wine that is 100% Sangiovese is called a Brunello. In 1980, Brunello was awarded with its own designation and is today considered one of Italy’s best known and expensive wines. Did I mention that I absolutely love Sangiovese wine?

Tomorrow will be spent nailing down some last minute stuff, going over our to-do list once again, making sure the documents we want are both printed and loaded into our phones. And resting up.

We’re really excited!

Let us know what you think…



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Like This

Related Posts

2017 Sestri Levante, Friday 9/29

2017 Sestri Levante, Friday 9/29

It seems silly now to repeat the refrain about how much I love Italy, but I can't seem to help it. I really do... love Italy, that is. I could find reasons not to love Italy, if I looked hard enough, In 2009, for example, our first visit to Tuscany resulted in a car...

read more
2017 Sestri Levante, Sat. 09/30

2017 Sestri Levante, Sat. 09/30

Our last full-day in Sestri Levante! Thanks to the advice of our hotel manager, Santos, we adjusted our plans today to take a boat ride from the southernmost Cinque Terre town, Riomaggiore, to Portovenere. This spot is only reachable from the north by boat or a 4+hour...

read more
Dodging bullets!

Dodging bullets!

Just a tidbit... We've managed to dodge a couple of bullets during our journey so far! First, like Italy-rookies (ugh), we forgot to validate our train tickets before boarding the train in Sestri Levante! Validating is required for any non-reservation train ticket. We...

read more


Jeff Drake

Retired IT consultant, world-traveler, hobby photographer, and philosopher.