Friday, June 28, 2013

{European Travels} Florence Days 4&5

We finally made it -
the last {European Travels} post.
You are probably jumping for joy, as these went on for quite some time.
But I'm kinda sad. It went by way too quickly, just like the trip. 
Now lets continue...

During this entire trip I kept a journal to document all the fun and interesting details of our days; that is how, over a month later, I have been able to recall everything in these posts. I was very proud of myself for recording diligently each day, until the last day where I completely slacked. I didn't write one thing about our last day and a half in Florence and it makes me so sad. So now I just give you general information and lots of pictures:

The night before, we decided at the last minute to go on a wine tasting tour. We were in Tuscany for heavens sake. Of course we had to go on at least one wine tasting adventure (even though we had done plenty of wine tasting at lunch and dinner times)! We randomly found Tuscan Wine Tours and quickly signed up. The tour group was small, just us and another family of five. The tour was informative, yet quite personal. We learned, in detail, how each owner made their wines, but in meeting and visiting with the vineyard owners we got to see their love and passion for each bottle. It made each wine that much better, knowing the intentional love behind it. We were simply fascinated.

The first winery we visited was Solatione Winery, a small, family owned vineyard. The owner, Francesca, was full of information and passion for her wines. We loved the wines at this vineyard, buying three to take home with us and having six more shipped once we returned home.
 Learning about the production of wine.
 Enjoying the wonderful Vin Santo, the most heavenly stuff that I've ever had. No lie.
 The Tuscany region is so beautiful!

After saying goodbye to Francesca we traveled further into Tuscany, stopping in a tiny medieval village. It took about three minutes to walk the entire town. I can't imagine living in a place so historic. However, since I didn't write down the town's name or any of it's interesting history, we only have pictures to remember it by.

Next stop: another town. Again, I don't know the name, but the square was adorable and the specialty shops were inviting! This is the kind of place I would love to stay in next trip- small and no tourists (besides us). This is were we had a wonderful three course meal with lots of amazing wine!
All the meat you could want!
 I love cheese!
 Group lunch.

Our last stop on the tour was the Fattoria di Bagnolo with good 'ole Marco as our host. Marco is actually an Italian noblemen and was quite the character. Being your typical Italian man he was loud, eccentric, and full of tales. He shared with us stories of his family, which date back to the 11th century, and this vineyard which was passed down from generation to generation. Marco also pointed out that Sting lived close by and Gerard Butler comes by to buy wine; too bad neither were stopping by for a visit that day.

Our time with Marco was filled with laughing, eating, and enjoying his great wine and olive oil. From here we bought a bottle of wine and the best olive oil we have ever tasted. I must say, we Americans do not even know what olive oil is!  
 Us with our amazing guide Olivia and best friend Marco.

The wine tour was probably my favorite thing that we did on the entire trip. If you go to Tuscany, you MUST treat yourself to this! 

On the next day, our last day, we had to catch a 2:00 plane back to London (which they almost didn't let me on - stupid passport). We made reservations at 9am to see David at the Accademia, which was extremely impressive and was definitely worth the last minute trip. We then had a quick lunch, grabbed our bags and headed to the airport. 

We arrived in London by 4:00 and got a hotel room next to the airport. We had dinner in the city then caught the morning plane back to the United States. Sunday, May 19th we arrived in good old Northwest Arkansas. Our trip was officially over and we just had the time of our lives!

Thanks for sticking around for all these posts.
I hope it has inspired you go create your own traveling adventures!

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