Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuscany Region: Chianti Reviews

Reviews for lodging, restaurants, and services in the Chianti region of Italy in July 2012. 

Casa Nova La RipinturaLocalità Uzzano, 29  50022 Greve In Chianti, Province of Florence, Italy
I found this place several months ago when researching an agriturismo to stay at in the Chianti region.  Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here. It is seemingly isolated up on a country road, but within a ten minute walk of the town of Greve in Chianti.  This was particularly nice because we could easily walk into town for dinner or drinks.  We stayed on the top (second) floor of the main house which hosted several rooms in a bed and breakfast.  The room was very "Tuscan" country with a cozy feel.  The bathroom was very spacious and very updated.  The room had a door out to a rooftop terrace shared by only one other room. It was nice to sit out here and enjoy a bottle of wine or snacks, and gaze at the stars.  The owners were very cordial, but speak somewhat broken English, although this was never a problem.  They keep to themselves unless you choose to start up a conversation.  There are a few dogs and cats on the premises, but they are never a problem.  In fact, we enjoyed this, as it reminded us of home. We bought several bottle of their wine, which were very good and very affordable.  Be sure to check out their restaurant in town just off of SR 222, La Bottega del Moro!  Excellent food and service- one the best meals we had in all of Italy!  The only issues we had with this place is the lack of air conditioning, but that can be expected in an older house.  However, in the July heat, it was quite hot at night and difficult to sleep. We left the one window open, but then got chewed up by mosquitoes. Our bed was missing some springs in the middle so it was not the most comfortable. However, loved the charm and the breakfasts outside on the back patio. Overall a very good experience and base to explore the Chianti region. 

La Bottega del MoroPiazza Trieste 1 | Greve in Chianti, 50022Italy
This place was outstanding! We were recommended this place by the owners of Casa Nova La Ripintura, as they also run this quaint and elegant restaurant.  We ended up going here all three days we were in the area because it was THAT good!  This restaurant was one of our top three in Italy!  On our first night we were there rather early for Italian dinner, but they accommodated us anyway.  We saw the owner arrive with fresh ingredients from the market for that night's dinner. We split a carafe of white wine and a piece of lasagna.  The lasagna was the best I have ever had in my life!  The second time we were there, we again sampled the wine, which was delicious, but this time we went for a later meal and went all out!  We started with a zucchini pie appetizer- this was small, but SO delicious!  It was like a zucchini quiche drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  Then we both shared the ravioli and chicken with capers.  The ricotta ravioli was decent, but definitely not their best meal.  The chicken with capers in a carrot sauce was wonderful!  We weren't even hungry anymore, but decided that the bruschetta looked really good, so we decided to order some. It was by far the tastiest and freshest bruschetta I have ever had.   The owner brought us some complimentary thin fried bread while we waited for our meal although it did not take particularly long. On our third visit )why mess with something so perfect?) we ordered the risotto with saffron and zucchini and the lasagna again and both were excellent. All three times we had excellent and attentive service!  This place is located right on the SR 222 in Greve. Also, VERY affordable. If you are going through- GO HERE!  

Lo Sfizio di BianciVia Ricasoli 44/46, Gaiole in Chianti, 53013
We stopped here in between wineries for lunch, as it was one of the only places open in Gaiole during the midday. It has a nice covered patio for seating with shade.  There definitely was more of a language barrier here, but our server tried, as did we.  After further though, I think that our server was still learning the ropes, as she got very flustered as the place filled up quickly.  We ordered water and soft drinks and then split an appetizer if fried dough filled with cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.  This was good. There was a lengthy wait for our food. I had pici- a thick pasta with fresh tomato, bacon, garlic, and parsley. My husband ordered trofie pasta with truffles, however the server only brought mine and we had to wait over 15 additional minutes for his meal.  The food was average. We were getting short on time, as we had a tour scheduled, but still had not had a chance to even ask for our bill, so I eventually went inside to ask to pay and found our server chatting with other employees.  I wanted to pay with credit card, but another server was on the phone and the credit card machine was tied to the line so I just paid in cash so we could get moving.  

Castello di VerrazzanoVia Citille, 3250022Italy
Only a 10 minute drive north of Greve, this castle was a delight to tour. The tour group was a bit large with 30 people.  Our tour guide was humorous and knowledgeable, but a his accent was very thick and hard to understand at times.  We were able to tour the gardens and even see real wild boar, although we only spotted one sleeping. We toured the wine cellars and then were escorted to the restaurant on the grounds, which was beautiful and airy. We were able to sample several salamis, prosciutto, wild boar, pecorino cheese, bread, and homemade honey. They did offer a vegetarian plate as well with several fresh vegetables. We tried several of the their wines, and even were able to sample the sweet balsamic vinegar and a shot of their grappa- liquor made from grapes. We ended up purchasing a bottle of their Rose at the end of the lunch.  The luncheon was very enjoyable.  We sat with 6 others and made new friends! We were there for about a total of 3.5 hours. €28 per person. 

Castello di Brolio (Ricasoli)Gaiole in Chianti53013 SienaItaly
Originally built in 1009 AD, this castle was a very fun excursion!  It has a lot of historical significance, which you learn about on the tour. We were in a small and manageable tour group of about 8 people. Our tour guide, Camila, was fantastic!  She was very knowledgeable. We toured the chapel, crypt, gardens, and the tower.  The actual castle cannot be toured because the family still lives in it during the summer. We saw gorgeous views from the gardens of the hundreds of acres of vineyards and olive trees.  You can even see Sienna in the distance.  We then met down at the winery where we were given a tour of the wine-making facilities, followed by a tasting.  The tasting was very elegant at a banquet table, although you only get to sample four wines. €23 per person.

Casa EmmaSP Castellina in Chianti, 3 San Donato in Poggio , Barberino Val d'Elsa (FI) Italy
We stopped here for a scheduled tasting.  It was  a little hard to find coming from Greve in Chianti, but eventually got there.  It definitely is not as fancy as some of the other vineyards and castles we visited, but we had a very pleasurable tasting with a group of about 8 people.  We made lots of friends!  Our guide, Carlota, was very knowledgeable and friendly.  We also got a short tour of the cellar afterwards by another employee.  This was an interesting first stop.  Try their sweet balsamic vinegar- very good! 

No comments:

Post a Comment