Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 295: Tuscany Farm Tours and More

This morning we woke up and watched the sunrise over the vineyard. Breakfast began at 8am so we got ready and made our way to eat. We enjoyed fresh eggs, bacon and fruit. Maddie and Caleb also enjoyed cereal and yogurt, which are favorites anywhere. 
After breakfast we ventured into the store and purchased a lot of goodies. However, shipping wine to Poland was incredibly expensive, so I had to settle on buying a few small bottles instead. 

We went on a vineyard tour shortly after we did our shopping and learned all about the vineyard, food, and what the process of making the wine and olive oil was. 
The vineyard (also a farm) contains over 3,000 olive trees. The olives are handpicked during harvest and then extra virgin olive oil is produced. The farm itself consists of roughly 250 acres and about 50 acres is used for the vineyards. Some of the grapes are handpicked for the reserved wines, but other grapes being used for house wines are picked by machines. 
We also met the cows that are raised for their beef and the kids were able to feed and pet them. We also learned of the different processes that the wine takes, which was very interesting. 
Once the tour was over, we walked back up to the main area and took many, many photos while we awaited our taxi. When we departed the vineyard we headed to San Gimignano and walked through some of the oldest skyscrapers in the world. We couldn't stay long, but we were there long enough to enjoy the award winning gelato that has recently won the title of the world's best. 
After the gelato and failed attempt to find a piece of artwork we lived, we boarded our bus back to Florence. We had to changeover at one station, but after that the ride was pretty seamless and we made our way back to Florence. 

We had about 4 hours to spare before we boarded our train to Rome so we found a place to sit for an afternoon lunch. We found a great spot on a side street and actually ran into some people from Poland and California. This made the 3rd couple we had met in Italy who was from Cali. 
After lunch we walked through various vendors looking at leather bags and ultimately seeking artwork and magnets. We lucked out on the magnets but we were unsuccessful with the rest. 

We eventually made our way back to the train station and took in the beauty of Bascilica di Santa Maria Novella from across the street. We then found a place to sit down inside the station where we could enjoy a cappuccino and await on our train. 
When we boarded the train we found our seats and got situated for the 1.5 hour ride. We then found our metro and made our way to the apartment. 
During our walk, we passed the coliseum and stopped to take in its beauty. It was huge! We walked about five minutes to our apartment.
Once we arrived, we received all of the information we thought we would need and got a few recommendations for our stay. The kids and I then took showers and got ready for bed. 

Overall, today has been amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed our vineyard experience and we cannot wait to see what Rome has in store for us. 

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