After leaving Greve in Chianti, we drove to Panzano in Chianti, halfway between Florence and Sienna, in Tuscany. A sculpture in a little pool cheerfully greeted us. I said to Mike a line that he hears quite frequently, “Ho fame,” or I’m hungry.
We found a lovely place to eat, Oltre il Giardino, under an arbor of wisteria, with magnificent views of the valleys of the Pesa and Greve Rivers. We sat for a long time, huddling against a chilly breeze, drinking “Terre di Prenzano” Chianti Classico, and eating Ravioli ricotta e spinaci a burro di salvia (Ravioli ricotta and spinach with sage butter) and risotto zucchine e ricotta. The pasta and wine did not seem to affect us, except to make us feel relaxed and satisfied, almost ready for a nap.
It was such a pleasant and charming place, with the wisteria dancing in the cool breeze, and the sun gleaming from blue skies over the rolling green hills below. It was as if we were drifting in a dream.
After lunch, a short stroll along Via Govanni da Verrazzanno took us to the Old Town Panzano Alto, still partly surrounded by medieval walls. The town’s 13th century castle is now almost completely absorbed by later buildings.
The hilltop church in the old town, The Church of Santa Maria (Santa Maria Assunta), was rebuilt in the 19th century on top of a medieval building. It incorporates what was once a tower for the long destroyed castle.
As we left the town of Panzano in Chianti, we pulled over to take pictures of the countryside with its neat lines of vineyards and cypress trees.
We were on our way to Castellina in Chianti.
*Thursday, May 2, 2019*