We lost our first day to travel hiccups. But Friday in Italy was gorgeous.
A majority of the wedding guests arrived Thursday. So the bride and groom planned a lovely day trip for Friday. We hopped in the vans and cars and headed to our first destination.
Our first stop was to a local cheese maker.
The owner’s wife gave us a tour of their humble facilities. And literally walked us through the cheese making process. They made only sheep’s milk cheese there. Pecorino if I’m remembering correctly. And of course we got to do some taste testing after the tour.
Our next stop was to Monticchiello. It was no more than a 20 minute drive from the cheese place. We walked through the picturesque town to a quaint restaurant for lunch.
We had a lovely family style spread. Several antipasti dishes, and then a choice of beef cheek or grilled steak for an entree. I chose the latter, but I regretted it. The beef cheek was so tender and smothered in gravy.
The food was fantastic and we were stuffed. We took a few photos in town while braving 95+ degree weather. And we headed to our next stop for the day. A local winery.
We arrived in about 15 minutes. We were greeted by the owner’s son who’s worked in the family business his whole life. He explained their unique process. They age the wine in clay vats as opposed to wood or stainless steel. He explained in a heavy Italian accent that they are 100% organic. Meaning they do not treat the grapes with pesticides. Only minerals to circumvent disease and mold. I asked him what they do for animals. He said they have a low voltage electric fence.
The group was treated to a tasting. And shortly after we were on our way to the last stop for the day, Pienza.
Pienza was another cute Italian town. Very European. Old stone buildings. Cobblestone roads. Beautiful. We stopped at the most famous gelato shop in town before splitting up to explore. I’d highly recommend visiting Buon Gusto if you have the chance. The gelato was fresh and tasty. They served unconventional flavors like ginger, melon and basil, and salted caramel.
The heat exhausted us. We headed back to the wedding venue/bed and breakfast for dinner and dessert. Then most of us got some beauty sleep for the big day on Saturday.