Among the many things you do before going to any country, is read all the reviews you possibly can find about the different things you can do in that country or particular city.
I read a review that said, “extraordinary, amazing, incredible and these words are not enough to describe the experience.” It was enough to get me excited but at the back of my mind, I thought “this is too good to be true.’
24 hours later, counting waiting times in airports, the longest wait being in Rome… YES YES YES ITALIA! My well deserved break was in Italy. We arrived in Rome at 4am, exhausted and in need of a bed and our next flight to Florence was at 10am. LONGEST WAIT EVER! Was the wait worth it? YES! Midday we were in Firenze! Exhausted? Psssssh! Nope! Forgot all about that! Washed off the plane, armed with the phone the hotel provided to make our stay easy, we started to exploring Florence.
We walked to Ciao Florence Tours (Everything you want to do, they will hook you up!!) to book a tour as we were failing to do so over the phone. As we walked we realized that Italy is everything you see in pictures and on TV. The narrow streets, the tables that pour into the streets as people enjoys their food and wine (we will talk about that).
We booked our Chianti Wine Tour for the next day and settled in at the Gran Caffe, San Marco for some Pizza and Wine.
The best pizza I have ever had in my life, period!!! How do you unwillingly burn off all those calories? A trip to Leonardo da Vinci’s Museum down the road from Gran Caffe.
I knew him for the Monalisa, The Last Supper, vaguely, very vaguely about the medicine but I left that museum in awe. da Vinci, the inventor. I did not know that!! I was schooled on the inventions that are still in use today. We had the opportunity if seeing some of these inventions being used mostly at the winery we visited in Chianti. We truly can have more than one talent and explore it to its fullest potential. We just have to believe in ourselves. The travelling finally caught up to us. We made our way back to the hotel (Forte 16 View and Spa… book them, you will not regret it!) After a dinner of pasta (my sister and I decided that is all we would eat whilst in Italy) at Fotevino, a bed was all we needed.
You know you were tired when you sleep the morning away. It does not help either when it rains for most of the day. You would think that the rain would deter us, NO. Explore, explore, explore. What is rain? You can get yourself an umbrella and we are good to go (we did forget these in Italy LOL). We stopped at a Bistro near Forte 16 and ordered some more pasta .
If you asked me, which of the pasta’s that I tried was the best? I would not be able to tell you which one. We tried a different restaurant every time we ate and every place had their own unique touch and every single dish we tried was absolutely divine. Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagne, Tortellini, Ravioli dumplings. Incredible!
Well fed, we certainly deserved some deserts, wouldn’t you say and yes you guessed it, GELATO.
We tried every flavour we could possibly try. Stayed away from the traditional flavours. We tried, Tiramisu, Pistachio, Nicotta (there were some flavours we could not even pronounce, we justed pointed, she would do the pronounce on the other side of the gelato bar LOL). Gelato Fact: don’t buy your gelato at a gelataria where the gelato is heaped high and does not have authentic colours, that is not real gelato. We learnt that on the wine tour.
Our Chianti Wine Tour started at 2:30. We drove for an hour to reach the Chianti Area. Our First Stop…
Il Molino di Grace. A family winery. For the tour, she started by taking us into a room with steel tanks in which they further age the wine after it has been aged the traditional way with oak wood. We were then treated to three tastings, wines aged between one to five years. From there we went to Santa Margherita… similar procees only here we were introduced to aging wine using cements vaults (bet you did not see that coming) and treated to a little history of the times when wine could be aged using chestnut wood, a practice forgotten. Still used at Santa Margherita to keep the history alive.
Greve in Chianti, is a small town in the Chianti Area where the tour stopped for us to have some free time and explore. This is where we had all the gelato that we could not pronounce.
Back in Florence, after the tour, we decided to explore the night life of Florence. We saw Florence under the beauty of lights…We had a few cocktails at Moyo. The cocktails were great and strong (Italians know how to make a strong drink, I could not finish the last one I had – Long Island Breeze – one way trip to drunk!) the music moved you, the food was amazing!
Oh and before we got to Moyo, we walked past this beautiful cathedral.
This was our last night in Florence after a day and a half really, well in the heart of Florence. We still had the next morning before leaving. We were not done with Italy yet. We had come for a specific reason! The best one of all! And as fate would have it, the next three days that followed, are by far the best three days of 2019 so far.
And it was with the addition of theses three days that I echo the review I read in my own words “Fantastic, Magnificent, Incredible, Amazing, magical, think of any word and it will not be enough to describe this experience.”
Italy is everything they tell you it is and so much more!
‘That Malawian Girl’
Don’t worry I will tell you about the next three days LOL