I'm sitting here listening to the sheep in the distance trying to figure out if I can do today justice with words. A and I have always loved to be in a car together. Our friendship is somehow ideally suited to long drives with random discussions on nearly any topic from deep examinations of self to questions like, "what's the origin of the term pothole?" Today we drove around and about Tuscany hitting several towns along the way. We began in Pienza, which though beautiful was really a tourist town, with a delicious lunch at Trattoria Osteria Sette Di Vino. MMMMMMMM...there is nothing quite like fresh cheese literally grilled with bacon. Later in the day we hit Montepulciano, which though it had the same charm of winding hilly cobbled streets, seemed to actually have a local population. We visited Il Casale, an agrotourism working organic farm and tasted some of the most amazing cheese I've ever had. When I inquired about buying some to take home, Massimo explained that it just wouldn't survive the journey. Beyond peeking at goats and sheep and playing with sheepdog puppies, the highlight was meeting Rinaldo. He used to work in automobiles in Germany. Once he lost his job, he went back to school to learn how to make cheese. After shedding our dusty sandals, we donned plastic clogs and he guided us through his cheese-making process. We both just fell in love with him. I will definitely post some pix of this and him. It was so amazing.
We went over to Bagno Vignoni to check out the hot springs and fancy spa, but tired of the experience before we really even had it. Dinner was in Montalcino and though the food was phenomenal, I was a bit preoccupied trying to get a perfect sunset photo. I'll let you be the judge of whether I got it or not.