Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Hilltowns of Southern Tuscany!!!!!

Buon' Giorno a tutti! Ok this may be the most pictures ever posted but I couldn't decide which to leave out. I actually deleted a lot of them. We spent 3 nights in southern Tuscany. It was our favorite place on our trip and its easy to see why. It made me want to find out if they are in need of a pediatric dentist there! The picture above is of a little village called Castiglione d'Orcia. It has a castle on the highest peak and we hiked up to it.

This is a little house on the way up to the old castle. I guess they are not too worried about the vines ruining there grout between their stone. Seriously though, when was the last time you saw vines that thick? If you look close there is a guy on the porch.

If you thought these are just sheep you are wrong. They are just sheep that are in Tuscany!

Cypress tree lined roads are everywhere.

Honestly, I would not mind if this was my driveway.

This is the main piazza in a tiny village called Montichiello. I can't speak for Rachel but it was my favorite place of the entire trip. There was not one tourist here. It was everything that I love about Italy.

An old guy in town told us that this is where they used to shoe the horses.

I took a lot of pictures of doors and windows. I just like them alright. Geez!

Thsi is me conquering the hike in Castiglione d'Orcia.

More of Montichiello

The entire village is based on this huge rock cliff. You can see how they built the stairs right onto it.

This is the old guy I was talking with. I can't remember his name now. He was mayor of Castiglione d'Orcia for like 21 years. He told me, "I have lived my whole life being good to people and if you do that, people, more often than not, will be good to you." Good advice.

Not a bad view. I would be more likely to want to throw hay on the trailer if I was here. Nah, maybe not.

My beautiful wheel of aged Pecorino cheese from Pienza. I took care of it all the way back to Ohio and it has been delicious.

Can't take salami on the plane or boy would I have bought some!

Rachel posing in Montichiello. We just spent 3 days relaxing and going to little hilltowns.

An Italian dryer.

The view from the village of Pienza

I wish I could buy it all. I did get some olive oil.

When you look at this little store its easy to see why things just taste better in Italy.

Can't you just see Russel Crowe walking through the field sifting the wheat through his hands on the movie "Gladiator"?

Rach and I rode this into town. The basket was a little uncomfortable for her we didn't ride the bike.

Would it be so bad if this was the house you came home to every day?

Rachel and the logs she chopped for winter.

The view from the gate of Montichiello.

A stacked Italian dryer.

I asked this little lady about her flowers and we immediately became friends for life. She talked our ears off. She was born in this very house 93 years ago.

That is Pienza in the distance. We are at San Quirico d'Orcia I think.

The road down from where we stayed.

This is Chianciano Terme near where we stayed. It is know for its spas and hot baths clear back to Roman times. It has little spas and places to stay all around it now, too.

Chianciano Terme again

The vineyards of Palazzo Bandino where we stayed in Tuscany. Everything they feed you at dinner is from the farm of Palazzo Bandino. It is famous for its wine but we had to take their word for it.

This is by the turn off to Palazzo Bandino. I just thought it was a cool picture.

This is where we had breakfast everyday. These are our Dutch friends who actually live in Norway, Hans and Jenny.

More yummy gelato in Siena

The cathedral of Siena

We had time to relax and there was a free spa at Palazzo Bandino.

Us at Il Palio di Siena where they have the famous horse races. A horse died this year in the race.

Siena at Il Palio

The best part of this picture happened after when I threw a coin to this guy and he moved. Rachel had no idea the statue was a real guy painted gold! Funny stuff.

The pics above are from Pienza

Here it is! Rachel's moment of glory....this is Montepulciano where "Twilight" was filmed!

My wild boar pasta. Buon' appetito!

The door where Bella saved Edward. Save him Rachel!

She told me to just take a picture of the plate. She was fed up with me.

The view from our window. That is the spa on the right.

This is Palazzo Bandino where we stayed

I know this was a lot to take in but stay with me. We will finish our giro d'Italia in Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, and Bergamo next time on the Dansie's Italian Adventures.