The Tuscan region of Italy was everything I hoped it to be. After a jam packed schedule of museums and art exhibits in Florence, I was ready for a more laid back atmosphere in the Tuscan Countryside. Our home base for this leg of our trip would be in the charming and calm town of Montefollonico. Montefollonico is about an hour and a half south of Florence, right under an hour from the City of Siena and in a central location to many vineyards and other famous Tuscan towns such as Montalcino and Montepaluciano (recaps of those coming soon!) An added bonus is it is the perfect stop if you are heading to Rome.
I will be including all of my recommendations on where to eat, stay and do while in Montefollonico in my ‘Guide to Tuscany’ post but wanted to share with you exactly what we did during our visit and how I felt.
I loved our stay so much and cannot wait for our return!
When we left Florence we went a tad off track to visit the beautiful Vignamaggio Estate & Vineyard (recap here). We were having such a great time at Vignamaggio that we decided to stay longer and skip a visit to another vineyard and a pitstop in the city of Siena.
The drive from Vignamaggio (and from a few miles outside of Florence to think of it) were breath taking. I thought there was no way the views could get better. But they did.
It wasn’t too long before we entered the town Montefollonico. We took a few wrong turns and our GPS rerouted us to enter the town from a different direction- right through the center of the town which was super narrow, one way and not seen by many cars. We knew this was an uncommon way by the looks we were getting from the locals. So sorry! Soon we arrived at my favorite accommodation of the entire trip- Torre Moreschini– a small apartment on the second floor of a medieval tower and fortress overlooking the most amazing views. This is an AirBnB you guys! Yes an AirBnB! When I first began planning our Italy trip this was the first AirBnB I found and fell in love with. It was absolutely perfect. Andrea and his wife, Anna, were our hosts and were so welcoming. We arrived a bit early (free and easy parking- Note: there was a much easier way to get there) and saw Andrea coming over the hill with a few bottles of wine for us. He took us up to the tower and showed us around.
We quickly refreshed and spent the last hour or so of daylight exploring the small town. We hung out in the apartment for a bit before the restaurants opened up (around 7:30pm) and headed to 13 Gobbi– one of our hosts’ recommendations for dinner.
We did not think we would really need a reservation but were dead wrong. The small restaurant was packed, as Italians from nearby towns had ventured to dine at the restaurant. We were luckily able to get a table and ordered some vino.
For an appetizer the Hubs and I ordered a platter of various local toppings on top of fresh bread. We noticed a waiter bringing out noodles to a big wheel thing near our table. What could this be? I got up and observed. IT WAS A HUGE WHEEL OF CHEESE! Be still my heart! The man was dropping the pasta in the wheel and then stirring the pasta so the cheese would melt and stick to the noodles. Then he scrapped with a spoon so big chunks of the cheese would get caught within the noddles. I was drooling.
Every single one of us ordered this for our first course. It was to die for and served only with some fresh ground pepper. AMAZING and probably the best thing I had on the entire Italy Trip!
My second course included roasted boar with a mushroom sauce. It was also delicious.
With full bellies we walked slowly back to the apartment. We were so happy to see Andrea had started a cozy fire for us in the wood burning stove.
We slept in a bit and woke up to the most beautiful sight. The fog had found its way over the valley and the view almost did not seem real-it was so amazing. The men re-lit the wood burning stove, we drank coffee and snacked on breakfast foods we had bought at the market the evening before. A majority of our day was spent in the nearby town of Montalcino-about 45 mins from Montefollonico (post to come) but we returned with plenty of time to re-explore the town of Montefollonico. We wandered around and found the cutest pottery and ceramic shop. I ended up taking a beautiful plate home with a painting of the town on it.
Walking the exact same path around the outsides of the wall as the night before- a cute kitty followed us and fell in love with Wade (typical) and walked with us almost all the way home. There was still daylight (and time before restaurants opened) so we grabbed some of the wine given to us by Andrea and the wine purchased the morning before at Vignamaggio Winery and headed to the garden area outside the apartment to relax and watch the sunset.
Everything was so peaceful. In the distance we could see a dog herding a flock of sheep on a hilltop and could even hear the bell jingling- that is how quiet it was. We chatted, sipped and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves before walking to dinner at Osteria La Botte Piena.
We ordered wine (and Wade a wine sized bottle of beer which was hard to come by!).
For an appetizer, we ordered a plate of local cheese, preserves and fruits. My Dad ordered a unique green soup (no clue what it was but it was good- he let me have a bite). I went with pasta stuffed with pork and topped with a homemade red sauce.
Wade went with the duck and foie gras and he loved it.
We did not want our time to end in Montefollonico. When we arrived back at the apartment the Hubs and I did not want to go inside and made another loop around the town- walking as slow as possible and looking up at the stars. It was like we had the entire town to ourselves.
The morning came too quickly and we all packed up and prepared to leave- but not before one last cup of coffee staring at that view!
We ended our time in Tuscany exploring Montepulciano (post to come) before heading to Rome.
Are you are looking for more pictures and info on our trip around Italy? I have posted a ton and still have so much to share with you guys! Check out about some of our time in Venice – here (more coming soon), visit to the island of Burano – here , Tuscany’s Vignamaggio Winery- here, Tour of the Vatican with Walks of Italy – here, Food Tour in Trastevere Rome With Eating Europe- here, the best way to see the Colosseum in Rome – here, a quick trip to the island of Capri- here. Also check out our long layover in Istanbul Turkey – here!