It’s amore (I couldn’t help it)

20180509_135612.jpgWe went to Italy in May and it was love, even on day 1, which was pretty much all travel: Uber to the train station, a train to the airport, a plane to Bologna, a bus from the airport to the train station, a train to Firenze (Florence) and then we picked up our rental car!

Let’s not relive the car rental delays- or the fact that after our trip, we got a ticket which was issued in the first 10 or so minutes after we picked up the car! We had read all about tickets in Italy, and about the ztl’s (zone of limited traffic, in translation) and speed cameras and we THOUGHT we had been so careful!

But I digress, or rather, continue: even with all of the travel in a single day that ever there was- we had a wonderful first day.  We got gelato in Florence before driving to our first AirBnb accommodation in Fiano, in the rolling hills of the chianti region. We were welcomed by our warm and lovely hostess, Cristiana.

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Standing outside the door to our Airbnb place in the Chianti Hills (Fiano)

 

She toured us through the flat (the upper level of their home, overlooking their olive grove):  the bedroom windows had screens (an absolute rarity in Europe!), the bathroom was about the size of our London flat, and the kitchen sink was worn from years of being leaned over.  I can’t begin to convey how much I loved the kitchen sink- which apparently I took no photographs of! None of the entire place actually- so just enjoy the views from our room and along the road leading to the house:

 

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Amazing view photos courtesy of Troy

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We got ourselves a bit settled, then drove into town to get groceries. Managing our way in a small Italian hillside town grocery store was our first proper adventure of the trip.  We made good use of our very limited Italian (this, despite months of using that DuoLingo app- not our best use of time).  So we used a whole lot of “mi scusi, parla inglese?,” “Dov’è?” and “possiamo avere” as we ordered goods from the deli, and looked for a good chianti.

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We had chosen a chianti, having been surprised to find that the touristy chianti is what you find in the bottles wrapped in raffia.  The good stuff is bottled as proper wine.  Happily for us, T had the bright idea to use the internet (in English! lol) and we settled on the Antinori Pèppoli.

We picked up fresh deli buffalo mozzarella and pesto, along with fresh stuffed pasta and Tuscan tomatoes.20180509_193322.jpg

 

 

We had also decided to grab a strawberry pie and were delightfully surprised to discover that the Italian version of a strawberry pie was more like a giant shortbread jam cookie! Win!  And the view was made even better alongside a glass of chianti:

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