Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chianti Festival

It was simply fantastic luck that our stay near Montespertoli coincided with the annual Chianti Wine Festival. Now I must admit, many of the festivals tend to be geared towards tourists – but here, our group was practically the only people sporting cameras. We arranged our visit to arrive just prior to the parade complete with the local marching band and gigantic oxen pulling carts of wine bottles and local children throwing flower petals. There were no Sponge Bobs or Caspers here – just the local townspeople dressing in country farmers attire joining together to celebrate their agricultural heritage.

There were several wine booths where we could sample the local Chianti and keep the souvenir glass and holder. Endless food booths lined the streets selling sweets, nuts, olives and a variety of other local goodies. Our good friends came down from Bologna to join us along with their two dogs Bebe and Rocky. It was such a great treat to have them along and a bonus to have them translate some of the happenings for us.

We all went into dinner – with Bebe and Rocky too (Italians love animals) and had a magnificent five-course dinner in a beautiful restaurant in the heart of town – 16 of us at one long table just like the pizza dinner the night before. Dinner Italian style! How fun! We poured ourselves out of the restaurant a few hours later only to find that the party was getting bigger as the night progressed… We wobbled back to our vans passing many families making their way to the Carnival rides and grabbing prime spots from which to watch the midnight fireworks – Many of our group stayed up and watched from the comfort of the balconies of Il Borgo which overlooked the Festival Town of Montespertoli only 8 kilometers away. Location and timing!

No comments: