under a wisteria sky at panzano in chianti

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.

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Panzano in Chianti

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Panzano in Chianti

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.

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irises and wisteria at the restaurant

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our view over Chianti

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.

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wisteria arbor

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view over the countryside

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wisteria arbor

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wisteria arbo

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inside the restaurant

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.

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Old Town Panzano Alto

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Old Town Panzano Alto

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Old Town Panzano Alto

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Old Town Panzano Alto

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Old Town Panzano Alto

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view from walls of Old Town Panzano Alto

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view from walls of Old Town Panzano Alto

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view from walls of Old Town Panzano Alto

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view from walls of Old Town Panzano Alto

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.

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walking to The Church of Santa Maria (Santa Maria Assunta)

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The Church of Santa Maria (Santa Maria Assunta)

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The Church of Santa Maria (Santa Maria Assunta)

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inside The Church of Santa Maria (Santa Maria Assunta)

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inside The Church of Santa Maria (Santa Maria Assunta)

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view from the steps of The Church of Santa Maria (Santa Maria Assunta)

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.

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Views of Chianti from outside of Panzano in Chianti

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Views of Chianti from outside of Panzano in Chianti

We were on our way to Castellina in Chianti.

*Thursday, May 2, 2019*