May 28, 2016 Comments (0)
Day 8 of our Tuscan wine, food and bike adventure.
We awoke to a lavender-scented breeze and vineyards drenched in sunshine. Walking down to the breakfast terrace we were greeted by the site of the lovely Coralia racing up the driveway in her car, with a fresh-baked pear cake. Another moment on our journey which couldn't get any better.
Allessandro arrived early to help us load everything for our van ride to Montepulciano, and we were off. Even the highways in Tuscany are beautiful. Before we knew it, we were climbing higher and higher, through tiny streets, to the hilltop perch of our beautiful accomodations. The villa has only 4 rooms, each with luxurious, stylish appointments, and what feel like the best views in town. All of this has been arranged by the very talented people at Bliss Travels. They find the most beautiful and perfectly situated intimate properties which offer the very best in customer service, and we reap the benefits.
The afternoon was spent exploring the winding streets, which, from our villa, all wound downhill. Majolica ceramics, custom made sandals (on the spot!), and the leather shops with their seductive aromas wafting out into the streets. And architectural treasures everywhere you look. Doors to apartment buildings are 10 feet tall with beautiful brass doorknobs polished to mirror-like perfection. Every third or fourth street there is a church, the inside of which is blissfully cool, and reverantly silent.
Our next adventure and very special treat was made possible by our friends at Bliss Travels. We arrived at the best restaurant in town, to be greeted by the chef, Massimo, at the door, with a warm welcome that one would expect from family. Our table looked out on the cobbled street outside and the passersby as they made their way to aperitivo and dinner of their own. The first gift was a puree of spinach, olive oil and potato, with half a soft-boiled quail egg, topped by a thin shaving of white truffle. Then homemade pasta with fresh truffles, and tableside seared bistecca (steak) wrapped in bacon, finished with a ridiculously generous shaving of more truffles. Massimo did the cooking for us, and made us fall deeper in love with this magical town of Montepulciano. When we thought that the theatre and culinary acrobatics couldn't get more impressive, dessert arrived. Massimo clearly has some molecular gastronomy under his belt... A flaming Tiramisu, the likes of which we'd never imagined, and 'cigars'. A brown, paper-thin pastry, rolled into a cylinder, with a creamy, caramel-like layer between the pastry, the end result of which looks exactly like a cigar. It's accompanied by house made gelato infused with a tobacco essence, and when it all arrived, and they lifted the glass dome, a vapor rose, like the smoke of a cigar. Magic in Montepulciano, thanks to Bliss Travels. Magnifico!