After the conference in Padova, Dave and I rented a car and drove to Montepulciano, Italy in Tuscany. We both loved the name. It is fun to say. We wanted to relax and spend time together after the conference. We chose Montepulciano for the wine.
Driving into town was interesting. The GPS took us through the feudal part of
town. The streets were so narrow we thought for sure we shouldn’t be driving on them, until we saw another car. It’s not like the United States, where paved roads are wider. No wonder most cars are compact!
Our hotel room at the Palazzo Bellarmino was a two-bedroom apartment complete with a living room, dining room and full kitchen. The building was 500 years old and at some point was someone’s house. In the center was a courtyard.
The feudal city, where we stayed, had so many quaint shops and restaurants. But it was hilly. “It was all uphill,” Dave said. We also climbed about 90 stairs to our apartment. Vicki was sore. We did walk to the modern part of town too, but we preferred the feudal portion. It felt like real Italy.
The food, of course, was incredible. We ate our first dinner at a small restaurant across the street from the hotel. We met a couple from California and it was fun to chat with them. At one restaurant we had a hot chocolate drink so thick and rich, it seemed like they simply melted the chocolate and served it that way. On our third day we went to a little restaurant and ordered a pizza. They only charged €7. Dave thought they charged too little so he asked the owner, who thought he was saying we the charge was too much. Once the owner understood what Dave was saying, he laughed and assured us it was the correct amount.
The Italians are social people and evenings found the cafes full. People also congregated in the squares scattered throughout the city. One day a car show displayed several Ferraris and Fiats and other Italian sports cars.
We bought two bottles of the famous Montepulciano wine; one for us and one for the neighbors who watched our cats while Vicki was gone. The salesperson showed all sorts of wines and helped us pick out two bottles. He pointed to the best one for us to keep and said to give the second bottle to our neighbors.
On the day we left, it poured rain. Even with the bad weather, we did not want to leave. We’ve fallen in love with Italy and couldn’t wait to come back.