I just realized the other day that I completely failed to share travel photos over the last two months from Europe. So I’ll give you a double dose today and share some more travel photos later on this month. Today, I’m going to give you a brief tour around Tuscany and Florence Italy. If you thought Pisa, Italy was amazing (well it was) Tuscany was even more magical. Most of you know I’m also a food blogger at Katie’s Cucina so food (and wine) are close to my heart. While in Italy I really wanted to make my way to a vineyard, and that was accomplished during our day trip to Tuscany and Florence.
After our morning in Pisa, we made our way into the heart of Tuscany (which was about 45 minute drive) to a vineyard called San Michelle o Torri. An amazing family run vineyard that is actually (and ironically) USDA certified organic! They produce organic wines, olive oil, and honey. They also have livestock on their vineyard which they also butcher and sell to locals as well as feed their staff. I was beyond impressed.
We took the 45 minute tour mainly through the wine cellars and the olive oil cellar. We learned about the tedious process of wine and olive oil making. It just so happened that we were there in October and the staff was in full force producing the most amazing wines and olive oils.
We got to try the grapes that make the wine–they were amazing. I felt like they were a cross between blueberries and grapes. Full of flavor–I could have easily snacked on a few handfulls. Mr. Woodsy sneaking in another taste after the tour guide left the cellar!
The wine is kept in a cellar underground in a dark damp place in these massive wine barrels!
Some of the tasty wines and olive oils we purchased!
Corks galore! Did you know they cost the wine producers around $1 each?
After our tour we sat at a large family style table where we got to taste each of the wines. I say taste… it was like a half glass of wine each. Needless to say we all walked out a little relaxed and a few a little tipsy.
A few highlights from the tasting–(left) simple olive tree branches sat in jars filled with water as the centerpieces on the long farmhouse style table. (center) One of the five wines we sampled. (right) organic olive tree honey–it was out of this world delicious!
After our stop at the winery it was time to make our way to Florence. After about a 45 minute drive we stopped at an overlook to get a beautiful panorama photo of the city!
I captured this photo of Mr. Woodsy taking photos with our other DSLR. This was a great photography trip for him–he took some amazing photos over the course of the 17 days (and he’s not even big into photography)!
Here is a cool iPhone panorama photo Mr. Woodsy took. He was taking the panorama photos everywhere. I believe he has over 70 stitched together photos in which ¾ look amazing!
We had lunch at a local trattoria and had the rudest waitress ever. She even mocked me. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. In hind sight we didn’t have a lot of time in Florence and we should have grabbed a sandwich to go and enjoyed it on the steps some where. We would have had so much more time to explore. Lunches in Europe take hours… so doing a quick 1-hour lunch is almost near impossible.
After lunch we made our way to the leather market. I was on a mission to find Mr. Woodsy a nice wallet (and belt) for inexpensive. And after quite a bit of negotating and shopping around we found the wallet and belt he liked (and I found a few things for myself as well)! This place was chaotic–people everyone. This was one of the only times I felt like I might have been able to be pick-pocketed. Other than that I felt safe.
We did not get to go in the Du0mo–just passed it while walking back to our tour van. Some of our group members got to go inside and climb it–they opted not to eat lunch… gasp!
We did get to go to Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David. It was spectacutlar.
You are not aloud to take photographs inside so I don’t have any. I did take a few photos in the entrance where you purchase your tickets. It was just as spectacular as the rest of the museum.
We ended our amazing day with gelato. This was my 4th gelato of the trip. This time I chose strawberry cheesecake gelato.
And of course I shared with Mr. Woodsy!
And our tour guide bought us all small bottles of wine which he encouraged us to drink on the drive back (so we wouldn’t experience his erratic driving). We did and we both took amazing naps–after a 10 hour tour of mostly walking and a steep climb from Pisa–you’d want to take a nap too! This photo was taken with our iPhone.
Next up, Roma!