After a few nights in Florence, we took the suggestion of a few friends back home and decided to take a side trip to Siena.
While we loved our little apartment in Florence, we were excited to explore a smaller town in Tuscany. Within 20 min or so from stepping off the bus in Siena, the manfriend and I agreed we were in love with the little Tuscan town. It was just the thing we needed to relax a bit.
I lucked out by booking us an affordable hotel (porta romano) for about $85/night with this view.
That evening we grabbed slices of pizza from a local gourmet market with an awesome bakery and also picked up a bottle of Brunello di Monticelo wine, which is sort of notorious in this area and delicious!
El Campo where the town was gathering for the culmination of the big contrada (horse racing) event that had just taken place.
We then enjoyed the wine on the hotel's patio with a side of this view.
Monday, we booked a small wine tour so that we could see the country side and really enjoy the chianti wine region. It was a small group with just one other couple and allowed us to learn more about the region and do a wine a food pairing tasting at a small organic winery, St. Agnese.
The owner and leader of our tasting was hilarious, which added to the experience.
This family winery also makes their own high quality olive oil, 8 and 30(!) year old balsamic, bruschetta and truffle oil and only ships directly to the purchaser (not retailers).
Everything was amazing, but we ended up purchasing one bottle of Chianti Classico to drink later in our trip. If I wanted to spend more, I would have been tempted to buy the olive oil and balsamic as the flavors of both were amazing.
We capped off our time in Siena with dinner out and snickers gelato that was most definitely the best gelato we have had on our trip.
And now we are on our way to Muenchen (Munich) for a few nights.
I won't lie that after being away from home for this long, the manfriend and I have both started to feel a bit guilty (and tired of spending SO much $ on everything). But, we don't take vacation often and this really is a once in a lifetime kind of trip, so we are just trying to enjoy the moment.
On the running front
I have only been out for three runs, but that is good considering I wasn't sure if I would get the chance to run at all. They have been only 30-40 min long, but something anyway. We have also been walking and biking most days, so that helps offset all the bread, cheese and wine we have consumed . ;)
I hope to take a yoga class or something in Paris, but we'll see!
Moral of the story: if you ever get the chance, visit Siena, Italy and enjoy the wine, views and relaxed pace of life. You won't be sorry.