Monday, March 29, 2010

TRAVEL TALE: A VINEYARD TO DIE FOR - Driving around Italy ... like being in a pillball machine ... but it does take you off the beaten track. A half hour out of Florence is a fantastic vineyard called Villa S.Andrea ( in the Chianti Classico region. Picture a huge old stone farmhouse on 1300 acres, olive groves, ancient cellars and quiet hills. We stayed in the huge B&B apartment in the main farmhouse (the bathroom bigger than our entire room in Venice) and took Marika's advice on two fantastic restaurants where the 'locals' go. We booked for 7.30pm, oops, so when we arrived on both nights the staff were still finishing their own dinner - antipasti, huge bowls of pasta and salads and wine set up under the trees outside. They waved us in, gave us wine then went back to their dinner but who cares - we soon learnt we were the early ones. More on these restaurants and getting lost at the Paradise Hotel another time!