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Report 260: Summer 2003 Part 2- Montalcino

By Dean from Maryland, Summer 2003

Trip Description: July 19 thru July 25 6 days in Montalcino

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Tuscany

Categories: Vacation Rentals; Art Trip; Attended GTG; Foodie Trip; Sightseeing; Wine Trip; Independent Travel; 3-4 people

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Page 1 of 7: July 19 - Arriving in Montalcino

We headed down the now familiar A22 until it ended in Modena and onto the A1 heading south for Firenze. It was a trafficy drive, and we were glad to arrive at our exit. Once on the FI-SI 4orsi it is a breeze to Monteriggioni and our favorite bar in Italy - Bar Orso.

We feasted on some panini- porchetta, pomodoro e mozzarella and salame along with a side of artichokes sott’olio. We had some wonderfully soft and fresh Ricciarelli (sugary almond cookies with an ooey-gooey texture), a few cappuccini and a café for me and then we are off. But not until we each use the wonderful bathroom. Its not that the fixtures are any different or even plush. What makes it wonderful is that the door open automatically when you exit!

We arrived a little late at Costanti where we met Annalisa who lets us into our apartment. We had seen a wonderful 1 bedroom apartment on our original visit, when Andrea Costanti invited us back to the winery to stay. It had a wonderful gourmet kitchen. When we told Andrea we were coming, he assured us that there were two bedrooms. I had assumed that he was talking about that apartment. It turns out that the 2 bedroom apartment was across the way with a tiny galley kitchen. From indoor wood burning grill and granite counters to a tiny little one but wide hallway kitchen with a tiny stove…..

Kay and Jane tried to get the washing machine working while I went into town to set up our Slow Trav get together at the Enoteca Fortezza. After fixing that up, I made a bancomat stop and then bought the fixings for dinner- at “Stefano’s meat shop (although it has no sign), lombata d’angello (lamb loin chops), and then to the veggie shop next door for homegrown tomatoes and cukes, strawberries and blackberries, peaches from the Maremma and a melon and plums from Toscana. At dinner we enjoyed a bottle of Vermiglio 2000 from Costanti (a Sangiovese based wine). We had some prosciutto di Cinghiale that we had bought at Bar Orso, Penne alla Checca (tomatoes and mozzarella di Bufala the latter from Bar Orso) and the chops grilled outside on the BBQ.

Kay and I went to Banfi Jazz at the Fortezza and enjoyed a hard bop, New York based quartet. The pianist and drummer were very good. We had a mediocre glass of Banfi’s Moscadello. After the music, we walked around Montalcino a little and saw a couple of lounge lizards playing synthesizers at a small enclosed garden/community center. We returned to the apartment and took a sip of Reciotto Mazzi 97 for dessert.

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