• Mary Beth Chalk

Virtual Day Three: Settling In Slowly on a Sunday

Updated: May 21

We awoke to early morning, golden light streaming on top of the “perfect flowers” and in-between the rows of the vines - taking in the warmth of the sun and minerals of the Montepulciano terrior – aspiring to pollinate, grow, and mature into a world renown vintage. The cerulean skies above held puffy white clouds lazily floating across the vineyard. That first cup of Italian coffee: dark, rich, and velvety. Wow! My heart nudged me to gear down from my American pace, to savor, to draw in the light, the smell, and the taste. And when I did, I remembered why I love this country so much. My heart had come home!

Many Italian families still come together on Sunday afternoons, historically after church, for a large meal consisting of numerous starters, pasta, meat, vegetables, and dessert. Over the years, this tradition has shaped the customs of the present-day. In Tuscany this means that the piazzas fill with families and friends enjoying time celebrating the good life as they stroll, often arm-in-arm, up and down the medieval cobblestone streets while exchanging greetings with neighbors and possibly even sampling creamy gelato confections. Thankfully, this custom is still very much alive today!

After a morning of settling into the villa, Ken and I made our way to the car free village of Montepulciano (population ~14,000) to find an al fresco vantage point from where we could observe the passeggiata (late afternoon and evening stroll) of the Italian families as well as the wonderful views out over the Tuscan landscape.

Located a few steps from the entrance of the old town, we made a brief stop at La Vineria di Montepulciano to select items for an antipasti picnic. Our tray for two included meats, with the dried native wild boar salami, local area cheeses, bread, and (of course) a Montepulciano wine! With food and wine in tow, we strolled up the narrow lane of shops, many of whom were shuttered closed for Sunday’s dinner, to the Piazza Grande containing the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral built between 1594 and 1680. For the next 3 to 4 hours we enjoyed the quiet, familial tradition of a Sunday afternoon in a hillside village of Tuscany before returning home at sunset to the villa and vineyards of Maramai.

#tuscany #montepulciano #COVIDsummertravel

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