I’m writing this right now from Siena Italy at 11:40 p.m. To my readers who are used to me doing a post every day, I apologize, but it was impossible for me to get on the Internet at my hotel in Sienna because I did not have an adapter that would switch my plug from the Italian style to the American style.
I’m on a tour with Le Baccanti Tours which is based in Siena, Italy, which is about a half hour outside of Florence in the great land mass known as Tuscany that encompasses the region. The tour focuses on wine in the region and I cannot even begin to tell you what a nice time I have been having so far.
So far, in just the last two days, our tour guide Benedetta Marinelli has been bringing us around to vineyards throughout Tuscany, focusing primarily on wine just outside of Sienna. We did a full wine tasting with a true wine master, Filippo Bartolotta at Enoteca Italiana restaurant, where over 17,000 bottles of wine are stored in the cellar, which is the second largest in the world. Today, I visited three vineyards just outside of Sienna and met all of the owners. All of the vineyards that I’ve seen so far are just sensational. The Italian hospitality here is on another level. I visited Castel di Pugna vineyard that is owned by a father, son and daughter family and had lunch prepared by the chef of the vineyard, who is the daughter. Incredible food. I did a sight seeing tour of Siena yesterday with an art historian visiting the incredible Le Duomo church. I also had some wine at Agricola Campriano, the Fattoria Campopalazzi winery and the Montepescini winery. Montepescini winery lies in a town in Italy that consists of 12 people in total, and out of sheer luck, we tasted wine at Fattoria Campopalazzi and then stayed for their harvest dinner with the family and eight workers from the farm and some of their kids. The food was ridiculously good, all cooked by the wife of the owner of the vineyard and it included a spread of fresh goat cheeses from a farm down the road, fresh Italian styled quiche, romaine lettuce salad, a perfect spinach lasagna, an apple tart and iced dessert wine. Oh, and did I mention I learned how to make gnocci from scratch with the cutest old Italian lady chef? The gnocchi she made literally melted in my mouth.
I’m planning on writing full details of this trip because a lot of people have been telling me through e-mail that I should, but for now, I got to try to enjoy it here. But all I can say is Siena is an absolutely awesome place to visit when going to Italy, and I’d advise it over Rome and have been there before. Especially for authenticity when it comes to wine and just in general an overall fun time with authentic Italy. I’m taking a ton of video too.
And by the way, go to the San Gennaro Feast in Hampton Bays this weekend, AND BE ITALIAN!