Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Castiglion Fiorentino

Yesterday Dr. C. and I picked up our friends George and Merlene Lynch in Florence, and we drove to Castiglion Fiorentina, a small town in Tuscany, with a much more famous neighbor: Cortona. Don't get me started on Cortona, after Frances Mayes wrote her book, the town has turned into a Hollywood movie set, and you will see more Americani than Italiani.
Merlene is the travel agent who is handling my culinary tour in Umbria next week and we are here with them to find other culinary options in the heart of Italy.  Merlene is custom tour specialist, designing tours for small groups.  Dr. C. and I have never been to Castiglion Fiorentino, and Merlene had contacted her friends the Bucceletti family who own the largest winery in the area, and we are staying in one of their villas here while exploring the area.

This little house was the grain storage for the estate, and is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath with small kitchen, living area and dining area.  The outdoor space is amazing, with a beautiful swimming pool, and covered areas for eating, and resting.  Lydia and Renee Buccelletti arranged for us to tour various places, and to meet various individuals to help us to know the area better.

The views from here are spectacular.

Today we went into Castiglion for a tour with Eduardo and our friend Simona, who is a chef.  I'd met Simona last year in San Diego, she'd just gotten married, and was in San Diego visiting.
Eduardo is an excellent guide and his passion for the area, and his town is contagious.  Again, spectacular views, and beautiful streets.

Cloister of the Convento di San Francesco

Fresco lining the cloister

L to right, Dr. C., me, Merlene, George

We climbed to the Noble part of the town, and the views across the plain were spectacular.  Here are so some photos as we got to the top.

Towers were for protection in the Medieval times

That's Dr. C and George, they broke into the tower and climbed up to the top 

Etruscan ruins at the museum

Largest church in Castiglion

this is an unbrella pine just hanging out

I love the Ape!  

If someone knows why the Italians love Snow White and the Dwarfs, let me know!

Lawn art in a Medieval town
We were taken to a privately owned castle, which was closed, but we were able to take a few photos, and then on to Santa Maria degli Bagni, a beautiful church where the Virgin Mary was said to appear to a brother and sister, and after that a spring came up on the property, and to this day people drive to the church to fill containers with the water.  I lit a candle for a friend who is fighting cancer, and said prayers for she and her family.

Eduardo and Simona

Santa Maria

In some of the churches here, the altar piece is made of ceramic, rather than marble

After our tour we drove back to the Bucceletti winery, and had lunch and a tour of the beautiful gardens and winery,  They grow Trebbiano, Grecchetto, Vermintino, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Syrah.

Tuscan beans



Cured meats

Pecorino and pears


The patio

Stems of the Sangiovese grapes

The crusher


The winery is equipped to do weddings, and events.  The outdoor spaces are beautiful.

The organic garden was a joy to behold.  Lydia one of the owners said that they plant so that each plant helps the other, such as growing onions around certain plants to prevent pests from enjoying them.  The garden is a place of beauty and bounty.


Buona Notte from Castiglion Fiorentino.

Societa Agricola Buccelletti
Via Santa Cristina 16  52043 Castiglion Fiorentino
Tel:  (+39)0575650179

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