Friday, October 5th

There’s a sound coming through the window.  Something has wakened me.  It’s still dark and I lie in bed listening.  There it is again.  It’s become more constant now.  I haven’t heard the sound before but I know what it is.  I get out of bed and peer out the window into the darkness.  A moment later my suspicions are confirmed as I see black shapes moving about next the shed behind The Barn.  Wild boars.  Snuffling and snorting as they munch on whatever they have found.  I find a flashlight and aim the beam of light towards them.  Red eyes glint in the dark.  I can see them clearly enough now.  There are about 6 or 8 of them grazing beside the shed and among the olive trees.  I watch them for a few minutes then head back to bed and back to sleep.

It’s Friday morning and as we had been warned, the power went off about 8:30.  We finished breakfast and about 10:00 set off for Greve in Chianti.

Piazza Matteotti, Greve

Greve, unlike most of the other towns we have visited, is actually a valley town and therefore relatively flat.  It originated as a market town and now is the unofficial capital of the Chianti region.

Giovani Verrazzano statue

The main square, Piazza Matteoti, surrounds a statue of the explorer Giovanni Verrazano.  Anyone who has run the New York Marathon will be familiar with the bridge that bears his name.

We stop in a well-known and quite large butcher shop, Macellaria Falorni.  The ceiling is lined with countless cured proscutti hams and other meats hanging row after row.  There is quite a large selection of meats, wines, knick-knacks and artifacts.

We wander around the square a bit then duck into one of the outdoor restaurants for cappuccinos and some crostini mixtas.  After our snacks we continue exploring this picturesque town.  To our disappointment the wine museum is closed and available for tours by appointment only.

Piazza in Panzano in Chianti

Soon we are back in the car and heading back the way we came to Panzano in Chianti.  This is a more traditional hilltop town.  We find a restaurant with a terrace that commands an incredible view over the valley.  This looks like a great place for lunch and we find a table right on the edge of the terrace.

Susan at restaurant, Panzano

Lunch is great and the view is spectacular.  It is so relaxing just sitting and sipping our wine and a post-lunch espresso that we decide to linger a bit longer and skip our third planned stop of the day, a return to Castellino in Chianti.  After lunch we follow the street uphill to a medieval church at the top.

Hauling grapes

We pass by a small winery with a tractor and its trailer stopped on the side of the street as crates of grapes are unloaded and carried inside.  Further along is a school yard with the happy sound of kindergarten aged kids being kids.  The top of the hill, just beyond the church yields a beautiful panoramic view of the valley around the town.

View from Panzano

We arrive back at The Barn around 4:30 which gives us time to relax, enjoy the late afternoon sun, and get ready to go to Osteria di Montegonzi for dinner.

Oteria di Montegonzi

Once again dinner at the Osteria was spectacular.  We started with an appetizer of chanterelle mushrooms in a cheese cream sauce.  For the main course Susan had Guinea Hen and I had a spicy beef dish, all accompanied by a great bottle of Vino Nobile de Montepulciano.

Susan at Osteria di Montegonzi

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