- Fizzy Thoughts: Italy Trip: Day Fourteen

Italy Trip: Day Fourteen

Friday, October 05, 2007

9/11/07

On Tuesdays Alberto gives tours of the wine cellar to all of the guests of Castello del Trebbio.He started by explaining the history of the castle. It was built by the Medicis and belonged to the Pazzi (Italian for crazy) family. This is where the plot to kill Lorenzo de Medici was hatched. After showing us the "conspiracy room," Alberto took us down to the wine cellar where I got hopelessly confused about wine. We also walked through the old dungeon where the old olive oil canisters are stored. They only get 1 bottle of olive oil from each tree each year. We returned to the 600 year old castle courtyard to wine taste. First white, then red table wine, then ruffino, then vin santo.

There was also bread, cheese, salami, and pate. The reds were good. The vin santo was lethal.

Ooops. I almost forgot about Mario.

He was the gamekeeper for the castle. For years he was the only one there and his contract said he could not get married. When the new owners came in the '60s the updated his contract and one week later he married his girlfriend. He wears his old uniform, complete with a feather in his cap, even though he is retired. He seemed to pop up when the tourists were around.

Next up was Florence. We had a date with the Uffizi. In a nutshell, we saw lots of Madonnas and Child, some Boticellis, a very dark unfinished Leonardo, a few Michelangelos, and a lot of other paintings. My favorite was the wooden shield with Medusa on it. Kind of morbid, bu memorable.

After the Uffizi we met back up with Sue and Lance and went to dinner at Antico Fattore, right off the Piazza della Signoria. We had a great meal, and even a great waiter. We started with porcini salads. The mushrooms, in their pre-salad form, were huge - about twice the size of my fist. Lance had wild boar sausage, which we all tried and liked. Then I had fresh pici (pasta)with a cheese/walnut sauce and finished with really good, really light cheesecake with a berry sauce. The rest of the gang had more vin santo with crosticci. As we left the restaurant we realized our train left in 10 minutes, so we power walked to the station, only to discover we missed the train. So we sat there for an hour waiting for the next one.

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