Day 24 - Monday 21 September 2015
This was our first full day in Florence. We had a truffle hunting and wine tour booked which we were both excited about.
We got up and got ready as before the tour we had to go get our car and then return it to the car hire place.
That all went smoothly and we then had to make our way to the meeting point for the tour. We didn't have time to get breakfast so stopped to get some nectarines from a little fruit stall to eat on the run.
Our map said the meeting point was a 25 minute walk away, we were cutting it fine so tried to get a taxi but no one would stop for us. In the end we just had to power walk the whole way. We made it there on time and met our tour guide Fabian. He was originally from Hamburg but had been living in Florence for the last 7 years.
The other people on our tour were a couple from Singapore, a couple from Hong Kong and a lady travelling on her own from Minnesota in the U.S.
We got in Fabian's van and drove about 40 minutes or so to a farm house/estate out in the country.
We met Choco the dog who would do the truffle hunting, he looked liked some kind of brown poodle cross but Fabian called him something else in Italian so I'm not quite sure. He was very cute but a bit smelly.
We also met an Italian lady whose name I can't quite remember and we followed her, Choco & Fabian into the Forrest to go truffle hunting.
We walked around for a while and found a couple of truffles, one black one and white one.
We walked back to the house and had lunch in this very grand looking room with chairs like thrones and taxidermic animals all over the walls. It was a cool room but also a bit creepy.
We had a delicious lunch which was 3 courses of rich Italian food with truffles in them. Each course was matched with a different wine. Fabian said most of what was served was made there on the farm and it was delicious.
We had some sweet wine to finish and Jazz and I also bought a bottle of red to take with us.
We then got back in the van and drove to a place called San Miniato which is in the middle of Florence, Pisa & Siena. We got out and had a walk around the old fort that was there as a lookout for those three areas and Fabian talked to us about the history of the area.
We then got back in the van and drove a bit further to Pietro Beconcini winery. It was another beautiful estate and we were told that some of the vines are over 150 years old. There was a pilgrimage path that went through the area and Fabian said it was because of the pilgrims many years earlier it was the only place in Italy where they have Tempranillo vines. There were also all of these shells in the soil. We were told that was because many many many years ago (I think he said 5 million) it is believed that that sea was actually under the sea. The shells gave an effect on the soil which then affects the wine.
Back at the house there was this cute cat that was missing part of his tail that lay in the sun and let me pat him.
We had a wine tasting of all the delicious wines. At the end we had this sweet wine, kind of like port but better, called Vin Santi del Chianti. It was so delicious! We need to find some in Perth.
Shipping was crazy expensive so we just bought 1 bottle of red wine to have while we were in Florence.
After the wine tasting, Fabian drove us back to where he met us and we all said our goodbyes.
Kristen, the lady from Minnesota, asked us if we wanted to go get a drink so we went wandering with her. She was on her own as she was out in the world celebrating her recent divorce.
As we were walking down the street, Jazz and Kristen saw a sign that said "€10 beer tasting" so naturally we went inside. For that price the glasses were massive and we were all pretty drunk by the time we left.
We wandered further down the street to find some dinner and found a nice looking restaurant. We ordered a few plates to share and everything was very delicious. We even tried tripe which Kristen said was animal stomach.
At dinner Jazz realised she'd left her bags at the bar so had to rush back to get them. Our wine was there but her back pack was not... Along with a few other things the bag had her phone & GoPro in it so she was really upset because the GoPro has heaps of photos and videos from our holiday including the video of her proposing. She thought back and realised that she never took her bag out of the van when we finished the tour.
She used my phone to get into her email and there was an email from Fabian saying he'd found a bag! Our wifi wasn't good enough to email back though so we couldn't get in touch until we got home.
We finished our dinner and chaperoned Kristen to the ATM as she felt uncomfortable going alone and then we said our goodbyes & wished each other well as she was leaving for Rome the next day.
On our way home we stopped to get gelato, we somehow managed to order €16 worth and they were freaking massive.
We walked home eating it and went to bed early as we were both still tipsy from earlier and tired from such a long fun day.