500 Reasons to Love the Chianti Region

500 Reasons to Love the Chianti Region

We raced through the Chianti region of #Tuscany on a beautiful day from #winery to winery in a pristine 1963 Fiat 500 #car. It was one of those 'perfect days' you wonder if you’ll ever be able to duplicate.


Italy is a country that is, frankly, too full of too much good stuff. 

You come here for the food, you may miss the museums. You plan for Venice, you miss out on Amalfi or Sicily. 

The trick is a combination, and that’s exactly what we did; well, as best as we could.

The Scenery Love is EverythingT-bone Getting ReadyOur RideThe Wine CellarLa Donna che amo
The Scenery 

We had been living in Italy since September as graduate students and were getting ready to celebrate our first anniversary as a couple. Sounds crazy, right? Starting a relationship only five months before moving to Italy for graduate school sounds like a risky idea. Well, it could’ve been if only one of us was going on the adventure. The difference here is that the girl decided to do her MBA, too, and got into the same school. Needless to say, I wanted to do something special.

The girl; A stunning and intelligent woman who tolerates my monkey-business.

The boy; Me, a slightly less-stunning and less-intelligent man who gets into plenty of monkey-business.

The Scenery Love is EverythingT-bone Getting ReadyOur RideThe Wine CellarLa Donna che amo
Love is Everything

I had some friends in one of the other MBA concentrations at Bologna Business School, 'Food & Wine.' It’s a pretty self-explanatory title, I know. Anyway, she told me about a wine-tasting tour outside of Florence unlike any other, the 500 Touring Club. 

So I booked the wine tour, a few nights at the Degli Orafi in Florence, and got ready for a substantial increase of my 'boyfriend points.'

from  $138.48

Hotel Degli Orafi

 Lungarno Archibusieri 4, Florence, Italy
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I purchased two train tickets from Bologna to Firenze (“Florence” for you English-speakers) from the TrenItalia website, stuffed ‘em into an envelope with a card that read “Felice anniversario. Ti amo!”

“Pack a bag. We’re going to Firenze for the weekend and there ain’t no two ways about it!”

“Pack a bag. We’re going to Firenze for the weekend and there ain’t no two ways about it!”

I’d say this is when the accumulation of those boyfriend points I mentioned began. We got to Firenze, checked-in at the Degli Orafi hotel, and hit the town that night. So far, so good.

What we had for dinner isn’t surprising. The regional dish in Firenze is the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a.k.a. the Florentine Steak. It’s an enormous T-bone and sourced from the Chianina breed of cattle in the Chianti region of Italy. You couldn’t get more locally-sourced unless you raised the cattle yourself, since most of the farms were just outside of town.

The Scenery Love is EverythingT-bone Getting ReadyOur RideThe Wine CellarLa Donna che amo
T-bone Getting Ready

The perfect Florentine Steak weighs about 1.5kg (3.3lbs.) and is cooked for 3 - 5 minutes on each side. The steak is three fingers thick and rests for about six minutes while standing vertically on its bone. Go to the Ristorante Buca Mario, Piazza Degli Ottaviani 16R, 50123 Florence, for one of the best.

The perfect Florentine Steak weighs about 1.5kg (3.3lbs.) and is cooked for 3 - 5 minutes on each side 

After dinner we hit Gelateria La Carraia for the tastiest gelato in the city. There’s definitely a feeling of accomplishment after finishing such a big and delicious meal, followed by a grande-sized helping of gelato (ice-cream).

The next morning, we hopped on a bus and headed to the rendezvous point for our tour. I also still possessed the element of surprise.

from  $125

Wine Tasting Tour With Fiat 500

Culture
 Florence, Italy
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We arrived at our destination, met our guide, and met the cars. These meticulously maintained "members of the family,” as our guide put it, were fantastic. Each of the three Fiat 500s to choose from was a 5-speed manual, double-clutch (meaning that you have to use the clutch twice per shift), and had about eleven horsepower left in their half-litre air-cooled engines. Shifting took a little getting used to, but I felt like I was driving like Lewis Hamilton in no time.

Shifting took a little getting used to, but I felt like I was driving like Lewis Hamilton in no time
The Scenery Love is EverythingT-bone Getting ReadyOur RideThe Wine CellarLa Donna che amo
Our Ride

We followed the guide through the winding roads and beautiful scenery of the Chianti region for at least an hour before we reached our destination. I managed to hold onto those boyfriend points despite driving a little… enthusiastically. I just wanted to be sure we used all eleven horsepower!

The winery, Principe Corsini, was gorgeous (of course). After a tour of the facilities we sat down to a wonderful wine tasting paired with different kinds of cheese, salami, and jam. Needless to say, everything was delicious.

The Scenery Love is EverythingT-bone Getting ReadyOur RideThe Wine CellarLa Donna che amo
The Wine Cellar

After lunch we got in the cars and zoomed back to our starting point. The drive was delightful, the wine was exquisite, and the lady still talks about how much fun we had.

My bank of boyfriend points are overflowing and we couldn’t be happier.

The Scenery Love is EverythingT-bone Getting ReadyOur RideThe Wine CellarLa Donna che amo
La Donna che amo

My favourite part of this trip, however, wasn’t the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the gelato, driving a vintage Fiat 500 like a Formula 1 car, or even enjoying a few glasses of delicious wine. No, the best part of the trip was spending time with la donna che amo, the woman I love, and seeing the smile on her face.

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