Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Stay in Greve Chianti near Florence Italy

Thankyou Travelin' Pat for sharing your adventure in Chianti.
The place is a little bit beat up but its huge and the views from every window are stunning.  I feel lucky (Especially when bits of the ceiling come crashing down intermittently and don’t hit me on the head).  Apparently Emma Thompson and Kenneth Brannah stayed here for 4 months while filming Much Ado about Nothing.  That’s gotta say something…. I think.  Because of the time of year we are here, the mozzies are rampant and the little buggers those no seeums are biting barb like Barb like crazy.  Everyday she creams up like mad and yesterday to top it all off  she got bitten by a bee!

 We are in Greve in Chianti, about 40 K give or take from Florence and it is a sweet little place choko block with wine shops (enotecas) cool boutiques and pizzerias. Last weekend there was a wine festival in the piazza that has been going on for 43 years.  Totally fun.  There is a lot of money walking around this place!

 So far we are bumbling along ok with the language as it is similar to Spanish although the other day Barb was horrified when as we were entering the wine shop below Carlo our host asked her if she saw the bat dung….Actually he had said did you see that the beds were done!!  Language alert!

 Driving is interesting.  I am the sole driver on these teeny narrow roads, battling round the curves with all the Audis, Mercedes and BMW Sterling Moss types..  On Wednesday Barb and I jumped into the car to head to Deruta , a place where they make most of Italy’s famous ceramics.  Armed with our GPS system (aka Mimi”) AND our goggle map on our phone we felt confident that we could get there.  First, before we even got to the end of the driveway GPS Mimi is spouting out “lost satellite reception” lost satellite reception.   We drive a bit further down the road and Mimi is back saying “in 250 meters turn right.  GPS map girl says turn left…..Oh dear, what to do?  After awhile the girls start getting along and we now shut off Google girl (to save data) and go with Mimi who irritatingly went in and out of losing satellite reception the whole way.

 We entered the Autostrada at one point and naturally went in the wrong line up.  We had to back up and go in another one, and this one had an open gate so we were a bit flummoxed.  We pressed the red help button but no help appeared so we just drove through.  50 Kilometers later when we exited there was a big hoopla and we were presented with a 46Euro bill for entering the Autostrada illegally.  Finally after going into the office they took pity on us and let us go with the regular 4 E toll. 

 Anyway, we are walking most days even though it has been smoking hot.  Donna and Denis and Barb and I take turns cooking dinner.  We all hate it when it is our turn….Plus we have tasted all kinds of great wines and had a few pizzas to boot.  I think some Italian ice cream is next!

 If you are planning a trip to the Florence area or other places in Italy take a look at these Italy Vacation Rentals.  It's best to book early because vacation rentals are very popular.