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Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Drive through Tuscany

500 Touring Club
www.500touringclub.com


This past month Mr. K and I were on a return trip to Firenze, and I wanted to do something different. We are normally not an excursion/guided tour kind of couple. We like to do our own thing at our own pace. But we decided after reading the rave reviews to try out the sunset Fiat 500 tour with wine tasting. Even though with the publicity and the very polished website this was probably going to be a very commercial tour. But when else would you be able to get behind the wheel of a classic Fiat 500L?

This tour was not gimmicky at all. They didn't try to sell gear. They didn't offer their estate wines and oils for sale. They didn't have any commercial undertones. It was educational, fun, and gave us an unforgettable taste of Tuscany. We even met a fat mouser called Chanti.


We picked our car, Fernandino, a blue luxury model. The car was wonderful; I was surprised he let Mr. K drive it! We got a nice tutorial and practice run to make sure all was well. Then we headed out on the road. The actual road! Nicolo guided us through the parts of the area and surrounding villages. He pointed out photo ops and prepped us to up or down shift in this terrain. He knew these roads so well.

We stopped a couple of times for a little geography and history lesson. I wasn’t expecting it to be a learning experience too. He pointed out the different Chanti production regions and gave us information about the soil mixtures and other use of the land. This is when Chanti, almost on cue, came out to greet us. I wish I took notes, but I was going with the flow.

We drove past the tower where Leonardo painted some of the background scenes of the Mona Lisa and soaked in the rolling hills. Vineyards, olive orchards, little villages with stone buildings, this is what you picture when you think of Tuscany.


After a ride through, we reversed course and headed back to the villa.

We saw a deer in the rows of vines as we drove through their property!

The wine tasting was great. The wines were so different. We got a good background on the harvest years and aging of each wine. 2015 was a great year for Sangiovese. They also had extra virgin olive oil made on the estate.

But to me, the star was the prosciutto. Man, that cured meat! It was so flavorful and rich. The thin slices just melted in your mouth. Nicolo showed us the preferred method of eating grana: take a crust of bread, put a bit of salt on it, grind up the grana between your fingers and dust it on, and soak the covered bread with delicious olive oil. It went really well with…the prosciutto that I couldn’t stop eating. We had some romantic time, a lively discussion about farming practices, and an amazing view of the sun quickly dipping under the horizon. Nicolo took care of us, calling a cab to get us back in town to start another wonderful evening in Firenze.

And yes, I took a slice of prosciutto for the road!

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