Sunday, August 01, 2010

Pienza e Montalcino

This weekend was a little different than most. Todd and Dannielle took a trip to Budapest while we spent some time ,*gasp*, as a family! On Friday we went out and bought Nolan a new toy (that post is coming) and on Saturday we stayed in and went in to Siena for shopping and dinner. On Sunday we traveled to Pienza, the home of Tuscano Pecorino, and Montalcino, the home of Brunello. I am not a wine connoisseur, but I think Brunello is pretty well known here as well as the states.

We found some free street parking and walked in to the city. We first hit the tourist information booth to get a map as Ricardo Stepheno did not have one in his book. Once we saw the map, I knew why. This is a small town! Well, not as small as Monteriggioni, but too small to get a map in the guide book. We walked immediately to the Palazzo Piccolomini to get a tour of the museum, supposedly a highlight of Tuscano. A tour in english was starting in 20 minutes, so Kacey did some shopping before they closed for siesta. Let me say that the main street smells like pecorino and honey, it was quite a delight. Every little store has stacks of pecorino (check out my pics). We hustled back to the museum for our tour just in time. Luckily, it was only us! The now museum was pretty interesting (no foto). It was not that big, but had a lot of dated paintings, armor, and furniture relevant to their beloved pope.

After the tour, we walked through a few more shops, the church, and looked for some food. It was getting late and we didn't quite find anything we really liked, so we grabbed a few slices of pizza, bought a little cheese, and hit the road to Montalcino. We snapped this panoramic photo along the way.
Road from Pienza to Montalcino

Pictures from Pienza

Of course Nolan fell asleep right before we got to town, so we took our time getting out of the car and luckily a 10 minute nap did him just fine. We accidentally parked right in the middle of town without even knowing, so we were nice and close to everything. There was a little market going on there too so Kacey browsed for a bit. While she put an offer on something, the only thing we ended up purchasing was some Brunello (along with discounted docg Chianti). We actually spent *gasp* €20 on wine! We usually spend €1-3.

The church didn't appear to be open, which was a bummer, but I did venture up the fortress for several photos. Here is my favorite.
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I have one other panoramic photo I took up there I really liked as well, but I think this is my favorite. We looked inside a couple of other churches that were open and after our 2 hour visit, decided to get on the road.

Pictures from Montalcino

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