Once again I was given instructions that were daunting. When I came back to Laura in the car, having left the luggage in the hotel, I noticed a truck with two apparent natives, and I offered them money to take us to the parking area. They declined, much to my surprise, after all 10 or 20 euros for simply driving a short distance seemed like a good deal. Eventually there was the parking lot, and then the trudge back up the hill to the hotel. We had some lunch and then back to hotel where Laura took a video of the walk to it, and then through the entrance, up the stairs to the front door, and into the lobby, and even into our room. The hotel occupies the space of a 13th century monastery, with original brickwork. The lobby, which appeared to actually be their living room (and reception) was beautiful, and our room overlooked the countryside, which was not as fog covered as we have seen, and afforded great views. The owner of the hotel was a fellow named Gio and his wife Ivana, and they were lovely people. He even provided guests (for a fee, of course) with a tour of the countryside in one of his classic cars that he nurtured in his collection. Gio declined to give us a tour, because of the foggy weather, so we spent the rest of the day walking around the very charming town. Montepulciano is known for its very wonderful Nobile Wine, and we went to the wine tasting place just off the square, and told the guy there that Rick Steves sent us, which is true as he does recommend the place in his guidebook. For dinner we went to a place that Gio had recommended, and it was outstanding.
Before we left the Hotel Corys we videotaped me talking with the owner, who offered to show us an apartment which we could have for longer stays. It was ok and we agreed that we liked hotel living better, and probably wouldn't want to stay put for so long. Then off to Montepulciano by way of the town of Castiglione del Lago on the very famous Lake Trasimeno. I knew that once we got there, we would be treated to great views of the lake and the surrounding hills, but what we actually saw even at the lake's edge was more fog. Nonetheless, Laura was so taken by this scene of trees lining the fog enshrouded lake that she took arguably some of her best photos around that lake, one's that we still talk about today. Truly every cloud has a silver lining ! Montepulciano is a short drive away and in about 30 minutes we drove, yet again, round and round, until we arrived in the main square. Laura stayed in the car, while I went to the hotel which was one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. First, however, finding the parking area.