To recap this last weekend, it was one full of lots of fun but a little less traveling then the past. The roomjobs and I were initially planning on going to Siena for Il Palio but decided against it since most of the trip would be consumed with standing in a crowded piazza unable to leave to eat or use the bathroom. Most of the time as in 9 hours in the sweltering heat of Tuscany, in the beginning of July.
BUT... what we did do was spend the weekend having fun in Florence and the Chianti region of Tuscany. Saturday I spent the day working on a little bit of homework which would usually bother me but homework in Florence is more fun than work. I had to visit the Baptistery in the city center near the Duomo to answer a few questions for my Art History class that I am currently taking. I've been meaning to blog and inform all of you about this sessions class but am waiting till I have some stellar pictures to accompany my writing, since thats the most exciting part anywho.
Inside the Baptistery
The Baptistery, like many ancient structures in Italy is beyond beautiful and I find it hard to explain that in words. What I love the most about this class is that I'm learning so much and get to see all of it. The ceiling of the Baptistery is covered in a mosaic describing the last judgement of Jesus christ along with the choir of angels, stories from the book of genesis, stories of Joseph, stories of Mary and Christ, and stories of St. John the Baptist. I spent about an hour inside soaking up my surroundings like a sponge and thinking a lot. I tend to think a lot all of the time but being in such a peaceful beautiful place made my thoughts louder in my mind. I love being able to be more knowledgable about Florence while I'm here. It makes me feel like I'm more apart of the city rather then just simply living in a beautiful, historical place with lots of fun secrets and facts.
Sunday, the girls and I went on a tour through the Chianti region. But this wasn't any tour, it was by horseback! It began with a two hour ride through the vineyards in Tuscany learning about the grapes and the wine that is so popular of the region. The wine was red and white table wine in part of the region we went through and the guide told us about when the grapes were best to harvest. The timing just so happened to be around my birthday in the beginning of October. Good things come from that time of the year! ;)
Riding behind our guide... he said my horse was the body guard :)
Chapel within Monteriggioni
Once we got done with the horseback ride we went to an ancient castle in Monteriggioni, which is a midieval city enclosed by a 10 meter tall wall with 15 watch towers. The original city is within the original wall of the town. Just like many cities in that time period, it was built on top of a hill so when an enemy approached, they could be seen. Within the city was the chapel and castle that still belong to the Florentine family that conquered the city from Siena in 1554. We had lunch at a restaurant near the castle consisting of bread, apertivo of prochutto and cheese, followed by gnocci with meat and red sauce and fresh spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce. Of course the meal came with 4 bottles of wine and did good things to the 6 of us and the tour guide. After the main dishes we were served panna cotta which has been my personal favorite dessert- besides gelato of course!
Signature label of the Winery... On the shield is the fleur di les to symbolize Florence
This adorable little pup is a trained truffle hunter... rare and brings in a lot of money!
Overlooking Tuscany with my Tuscan wine!