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Report 1008: 'I Vincitori' Learn to Get Lost in the Hills and Valleys of Italy

By Marian from New Jersey, Spring 2006

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Page 10 of 15: A Day on the Road in the Val d'Orcia (Monday, 15 May)

photo by MarcS

Sfumato di Melanzane con Crema di Pomodoro

Again, I have a lovely breakfast in the Bar Centrale. So nice when the barista smiles a greeting to me. I set the pattern of getting out first, buying La Repubblica at the tabacchi, then heading to the bar, ordering my cappuccino and cornetto, taking it outside. Marc and Cheryl join me shortly, and we plan to go to Pienza first, then Montepulciano.

We find Pienza without any trouble, and I head for the internet caffè (hello again, ST friends!). I've visited Pienza before, with Joanna last fall, but we mostly sat at the nice caffè facing the park. Now I walk in and out of some of the shops, and buy a nice apron for my granddaughter Karlie ("La Reina della Cucina" and her name embroidered on it).

I call Il Conte Matto in Trequanda and we make a lunch reservation. (I've also been there before, and had a memorable Sunday lunch with Joanna and with Zak of Tuscan House.) We find the restaurant, in its new location right at the edge of town, and Marc manages to park his car, but in a spot we are not too sure is legal.

The young manager directs us to a nice table on the terrace, with a gorgeous view. He helps us choose a local (Trequanda) wine (22 Euros). The wine is wonderful, and the food matches: Everything is delicious and beautiful. Inside, the local police are having some sort of luncheon honoring one of their own, and watching them all adds to our enjoyment.

Prosecco, food, wine --- altogether, a lovely lunch. Now, to make the rest of the day, we head for Montepulciano. We park just outside the walls, and start walking up into the famous town. The buildings are beautiful, and the views magnificent. So this is Montepulciano! Walking, walking and more walking.

We've put in a full day, time to go back home to San Quirico.

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