Two Weeks Of La Dolce Vita ↣ Part 3
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Amalfi Coast ↣ Tuscany
As we drove northbound towards the Chianti region, we left behind the rugged coastline and found ourselves surrounded by rolling green hills, vineyards stretching miles in each direction. Suddenly in the distance appeared San Gimignano, a medieval hill town built in the 13th century. Miles away, perched upon a great hill, the 15 towers that remained of the 72 rose above the protective walls.
Touring the town center, we imagined the occupants of the towers escaping to higher floors, pulling up ladders as they scrambled to survive when they were under attack.
Just outside the town's walls, we were drawn into a leather shop by its rich smell. It was owned by a lovely Italian couple who opened up shop over 40 years ago. For hours we laughed and listened to their stories about the region, then left with gorgeous handmade bags, a couple of extra treats, but more importantly, new friends.
Tuscany: Food and Wine
We couldn't get enough of the food in Tuscany -- from the fresh pecorino to the cured sliced meats that were a far cry from cold cuts 'back home', to rich sauces made from ingredients pulled from the backyards
After eating our way through the country for a week, we took a stab at creating our own scrumptious Italian meal. Warmly welcomed into Nonna Ciana's home, we tied on our aprons, grabbed a glass of wine and started our cooking class. Breaking into a sweat while rolling out the pasta dough, I had a newfound appreciation for the handmade pasta we'd been devouring throughout our journey. Once Nonna deemed the dough thin enough to read a newspaper through it, she showed us various cuts to craft different noodles based upon what type of dish we wanted to create.
Three hours later, we feasted upon three types of bruschetta, tagliatelle with a squash and pancetta sauce, and finished with a ricotta and honey mousse -- all made with fresh ingredients from her own garden.