29 October 2012

Key to Chianti

For our family holiday this year we opted to stay in Europe and travel around the Chianti region of Italy. As primarily French wine consumers, we looked forward to learning more about the neighbouring grapes and regional cuisine. By going in mid-October, our goal was to avoid both the high tourist season and sizzling temperatures. 
sac magic

Ouisie was along for the journey, and though I am not convinced she understood that Italy was a place and not a person,  she knew pizza, pasta, olives, ice cream, and grapes lived in It-leeWith toys and stickers filled to the brim, I packed the sac magic in my suitcase for rewarding good behaviour (and defusing temper tantrums). My family bid farewell to rainy England and two hours later the warm Tuscan sunshine bid us welcome.

We opted for a self-service apartment at Borgo di Pietrafitta for the first five nights as it was perfectly positioned for exploring the quaint Chianti villages between Florence and Siena. Once a medieval Tuscan village, Borgo di Pietrafitta is comprised of both a bed and breakfast (high season only) and self catering apartments full of architectural character and history. Positioned atop a hillside, its panoramic views are stunning. Both a baby cot and high chair were provided for Ouisie and, though we did not use, shopping and private catering services are available to their guests. 

surrounding views of chianti's hills  from borgo di pietrafitta
D  You cannot pre-select your preferred apartment. While we were upgraded to a larger apartment, it was dark due to smaller windows and the furnishings were not as cozy as some featured on the website.

D  Very remote and no food or beverage service on site. After a day of touring, it would have been nice to have a little enoteca on site for nibbles and a refreshing aperitivo like many agriturismos offer.

Overall, it was a good spot for day trips and the local grocery store in Castellina in Chianti had a variety of produce and every type of pasta imaginable for preparing meals at home. There are wine shops around most corners, so we were able to sample both locally produced wines and larger commercial ones, too.

With our 21-month year old along for the gran viaggio we enjoyed day trips within an hour's drive of our base. We then headed to Firenze for lavish Renaissance pampering at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze.

daily visit to Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, borgo di pietrafitta

Every town we visited along the Chiantigiana Road looked like a film set waiting for the director's call --"ACTION!". Around each bend in the road we were greeted by inspiring landscapes dotted with grapevines, olive trees and rolling hills perfectly posed for a paintbrush or a camera to capture their scenic beauty. 

The greatest impressionist though, were the Italians... che bello!  Their reputed love of children was evident as Ouisie's magnetic personality drew admirers, both young and old, wherever we went. 

new friend , castellina in chianti

new friend ,  farmers' market, panzano
During our time in Chianti we mangiare ävisitare µ, e l'amore . 
If thirtsy for more Chianti, please follow the links below on our various day trips and adventures.


primo giorno, SIENA
terzo giorno, SAN GIMIGNANO
quarto giorno, PIENZA
cinque giorno a otto giorno, FIRENZE 


Callie x

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