As I was looking at the map, scoping out our route to Positano, I noticed that it would be pretty easy to take a detour to Montepulciano (a name that stood out to me because of the wine produced there). So we decided to head that way and stop there for lunch.
We arrived and found parking on the street relatively easily. As soon as we got out of the car and started checking out the scenery and wandering around, I wished we had spent our whole honeymoon in Tuscan hill towns (and we are definitely planning to rent a villa in Tuscany when we go back to Italy someday so we can do day trips to all the hill towns from there and check out some wineries -- who wants to come?!).
We got up to Piazza Grande and stopped into Palazzo Contucci to do a wine tasting.
We tried the first four bottles -- all Vino Nobile -- and I liked the one with the yellow label best, so I bought a bottle to bring home.
Then we wandered across the piazza to Palazzo Comunale and ended up finding some stairs to climb for views of the town (we were getting quite good at that).
Isn't it stunning? I wanted to move here.
We wandered about a block away from Piazza Grande and found a little restaurant called Osteria del Conte. When we overheard people at nearby tables talking about how they returned to Montepulciano and to this little restaurant in particular time and time again, we knew we had made a good choice.
I started lunch with -- no surprise here -- a glass of wine: Rosso di Montepulciano Contucci.
Jeff and I got a platter of crostini and bruschetta to share. One was topped with tomatoes, another with cheese, another with veggies and cheese, another with mushrooms and cheese (already on my plate with a bite taken out of it when I took this photo), another with liver pate, and another with an anchovy-herb mixture. In the middle was eggplant, polenta, and prosciutto. The mushroom and anchovy ones were my favorites, but I enjoyed them all (besides the liver pate, which was just too liver-y for me).
Jeff had tagliatelle al ragu -- handmade pasta with meat sauce -- which was as good as it looks.
I had pici all'aglione -- a handmade pasta with tomato and garlic sauce. The noodles were very tender and the sauce was simple but flavorful.
I was glad we found the little restaurant and loved all the food we had (and it was really inexpensive too). Our waitress, who happened to be from Ireland, was super-friendly, and if we find ourselves in Montepulciano again, which I hope we do, I'm sure we'll go back.
I was sad to get on the road again because I could have spent all day in Montepulciano, but we decided to try to make it to Pompeii before it closed, so we really had to get a move on. Montepulciano was right up there with Bologna and Modena as one of my favorite parts of the trip, though.
|View of Montepulciano from our drive|
Next up: Day 7 -- Positano (Evening)