We spent the final 2 and 1/2 days of our Europe trip exploring Tuscany and drinking lots of amazing wine.
It was so refreshing to just relax and unwind after the chaos of Rome.
(Note: Huge props to my Dad for renting the car in Rome and driving us all up to Tuscany!)
I fell in love with Tuscany and it's now easily one of my favorite parts of Europe.
We stayed at an absolutely wonderful inn in Cortona called Villa Marsili.
This was the view from our room, high up in the hills of Cortona.
Note: If you've seen the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" you've seen a bit of Cortona.
On top of being a beautiful property, the Villa Marsili has the nicest staff and included in your room is breakfast, appetizers and drinks in the evening, and a complementary fully stocked mini-bar.
Cortona is an adorable little town with tons of great wine bars. We spent an entire afternoon/evening wine-bar-hopping the tiny Cortona streets
At one of the wine bars a bird flew above us and pooped on the Mr.'s leg. Needless to say, he was grossed out.
My Mom was then a bit worried about her wine, so she hid the glass under her wide-brimmed hat.
We spent the second Tuscany day in and around Montepulciano.
Our first stop was Nottola right outside of Montepulciano.
The manager there spoke very little English, but served us some great "vino noble" wine.
My parents and us purchased a half case!
Then we explored the mountain town of Montepulciano where we had delicious Tuscan tomato soup for lunch.
The we went Avignonesi for a private tasting.
Together with my parents we purchased a case of wine and had it shipped back to the US.
Note: Shipping a case of wine to the US costs around 120 Euros. But it's worth it if you're buying collectible wine at a cheaper price in Italy.
Our final stop was a wine shop back in Cortona where we'd arranged another private tasting with the owner.
Yes we love our wine!
After that we had dinner a great restaurant overlooking Cortona's town square. I wish I could remember the name, because it was delicious!
On our final day in Europe we explored Siena.
We went to the famous town center
And the Siena Duomo.
Note: Inside the Duomo, modest dress is required. If you don't have modest clothing on they make you wear this awful wrap the we dubbed the "sl*t wrap" to get inside, ha!. Good thing I wore a longer dress and brought a pashmina!
Then it was time to catch a train back to Rome and fly home! Europe trip complete!
Thanks for joining the tour, in case you missed the prior recaps, here they all are...
Europe Trip 2010, Part 9: The Vatican
Europe Trip 2010, Part 8: When In Rome
Europe Trip 2010, Part 7: Ancient Rome
Europe Trip 2010, Part 6: Florence
Europe Trip 2010, Part 5: More Venice
Europe Trip 2010, Part 4: Venice (the first half)
Europe Trip 2010, Part 3: Bavarian Alps & Castles
Europe Trip 2010, Part 2: Munich
Europe Trip 2010, Part 1: The Brief Recap (our trip at a glance)
Also, I do plan on doing a final post or two with a bit of advice about how to budget, what to pack, and other Europe travel tips & tricks. So keep your eyes pealed for that!
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