Vinegar and whine

Trip Start Jul 27, 2013
Trip End Aug 22, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Thursday, August 15, 2013

Today is a big day!

We get up early thinking we get to the Uffuzi gallery early to beat the crowds. When we arrive it appears they have already beaten us. However we are given the option to skip the line and jump on a private tour of the gallery. It is sizeably more expensive, but we figure it is worth it to skip the 2hr long line.

The Uffuzi is known to house some of the oldest and most important art works from Florence and surrounding Rome and Venice. Getting the tour is a great win because our guide directs us to the most important works and those with the most interesting back stories, helping us to negotiate the massive gallery. After our 2hr tour we have learnt alot and understand more now why Michelangelo was so revered, as he makes other painters of his era look like 5year old finger painters.

After our tour we catch up with J and Mish for lunch, who are just returning from site seeing at Michelangelo's tomb. We find a great place for lunch and enjoy swapping stories over good food and a few bevvies.

At 2pm we are at the train station to join our tour that we booked a few nights before on a drunken walk home. The tour is through Italy on a budget and appears to be mainly aimed at back packers, and knowing that they are all tight arses we feel we should get some good value for money.

We pile into the bus and realise that it is full of 95% Aussies so should make for a fun day.
The first stop is in a medieval town out of Florence called Monteriggerino. Walking around the town is lovely and we taste some wines at a local store and make some purchases for later on.
Next stop is Siena which is amid a flurry to ready itself for the biggest day of the year, a horse race, Apolio, that is 3 laps long, conducted in the middle of the town square. A track has been laid atop the paved town centre and grandstand seating erected around the outside. The rest of the punters will be squashed as thousands crowd into the middle of the track for 3hrs to watch the race. This place will be sooo busy tomorrow.

Next stop is time to taste some wine in the chianti hills at a lovely winery. As the sun sets and the bees swarm around us, we sample his lovely local products of wine, honey, truffle oil and 30 year old balsamic vinegar on ice cream. Surprisingly delicious.

Our last stop of the day is at another local winery. This is where the tour goes pear shaped. As soon as we arrive, there is an accident out the front as an intrepid deer walks across the road and gets cleaned up by two people on a scooter. The people are ok as they fly into a grass field to the side, but the same cannot be said for the scooter, or the deer laying in the middle of the road with 2 broken legs. As there is enough do-gooders getting involved in the scene, we head back into the winery to get stuck into their wine.

Unfortunately their wine is near undrinkable. It is borderline vinegar. The corks in the bottles were pulled before we sat down, and inspection of the cork reveals no cork screw marks, or staining from the red wine. We suspect they are refilling and semi - corking bottles. There are a few others in the group who show the same distaste to the wine, although some lesser educated budget back packers are greedily getting stuck into it. For us 4 to not even finish the bottle of wine between us really says something. The dinner is equally disappointing with stale bread, average meats and cheeses and a bowl of lettuce for Mish as the veggie option, on looking around we se everyone else also unhappy with their dinners. We bide our time so we may board the bus back to Florence.

We get some McDonalds at the train station to cleanse our palates and head home to be in bed on the stroke of midnight.
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blood13 on

Hi Dan, interesting that cherries help gout, just read that you have to eat 1/2 kilo
a day, or drink cherry juice also good and lots of water. Hope it helps for you, doesn't work for everyone ....oh the good life comes at a cost sometimes xx

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