We took the scenic route to Radda in Chianti. The views on the drive were breathtaking and, in contrast to the day before, it was beautiful and sunny with not a cloud in the sky.
We passed little hillside towns, white villas with red roofs, olive groves and vineyards. Lines of Cypress trees marked out the hillside alongside the occasional castle. Everywhere you looked there were signs for vineyard tours and wine tasting. There were lots of cyclists out and about and we also passed a tour group riding vespas.
Radda is a quaint medieval town on the hillside, dubbed the ‘capital of Chianti Classico’. We pottered around the little shops and popped into a local art exhibition. Afterwards, we had lunch at a place called San Nicollino and I had a lovely (but expensive) plate full of different ham and salami and cheese. It came with a basket of gluten-free crackers (served in sealed packets and made by Schar which is a really credible brand) so I happily tucked into antipasti while the others had paninis and lasagne. I have to say people in Italy really understand and appreciate the gluten-free diet in a way that I have not seen in any other country I have visited. It made my life much easier!
We took some pictures of the view and then decided just to meander until we found somewhere that looked interesting. We stopped at a place called Volpaia which had a castle, a restaurant, bar and shop. We tried the local Chianti Riserva in a café instead of going for a tour. The wine was very pleasant but Chianti is too strong for me. I preferred the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo we had picked up the day before at the supermarket.
We then drove to Greve in Chianti which has a famous butcher’s shop which was full of lovely salami and had a cheese cellar. I really enjoyed the Italian meats and cheeses. We also picked up some San Bennedetto peach tea which we became addicted to during our stay in Italy. It was a very lovely, chilled out day.