After hotel school, I had a strong desire to travel; I followed my appetite and lived experiences of a lifetime. During several trips through northern Europe, I found myself feeling very at home in Edinburgh, where I met my lovely, French wife. Yet Italy was always on my mind and so we chose Montepulciano in Tuscany, as our final destination. In "Podere Dionora ", www.dionora.it , I can treat our guests to the true Tuscan hospitality,
Montepulciano is a classic hill town with splendid, renaissance buildings and stunning landscapes. If you are new to this part of Tuscany, my best advice is to get yourself lost, following your own instincts. There is no better combination of nature and architecture than the region comprising Pienza, Montepulciano and Monticchiello. It is always nice to see people meeting up without appointment and enjoying the fresh air, while sipping an aperitivo before dinner.
Food here is another form of art. It is worth a stop at "Il Rossellino" in Pienza, where Enzo and Franca offer a memorable experience in their tiny restaurant of only 5 tables; try the incredible ravioli with asparagus, mushrooms and tartufi, a famous Tuscan grilled Fiorentina steak, delicious desserts and extraordinary regional wines.
"La Grotta", in Montepulciano, is another great address, just in front of the16th century church of Madonna di San Biagio. Here, try the handmade pici pasta served with local aglione and duck sauces, and the tasty wild boar in prune sauce, once again with a wide choice of excellent wines. The setting in the cosy garden is perfect for "al fresco" evenings.
The sweet town of Monticchiello with its non touristy ambiance, offers stunning views and a charming restaurant "La porta", with a private terrace and divine bruschetta; .a great place for lunch!
The bonus of this picturesque region is its superb wines. There are many wineries open to the public, where wine can be tasted and purchased. A very special one is the old Cantina del Redi in Montepulciano, just a few steps away from the Piazza Grande, with an ancient staircase which leads you to the cantina trough rooms filled with huge wooden casks of wine.
Let the colors of Tuscany glow with you, creating a magical theater of motion, art and divine spirituality.