A Travellerspoint blog

The 13th of June - day two of our Tuscany Hike

Psst ... It's my Birthday!

We begin with a great European breakfast. Breads/rolls/croissants with butter, pancetta, and cheese. blood orange juice, coffee, and a wide variety of fruits. We eat out on the patio with the views of the valley below and all the blooming flowers – what could be a better way to start this day?


We have the route talk, and the word of the day is “PREGO” – we learn that it not only means “you’re welcome” but it can mean “please, come this way” as if a waiter is taking you to your table, or “don’t mention it”. Also, a shopkeeper might say “Prego” as in “How can I help you”? So today, we find ourselves using PREGO all day long!

At the route talk we also learn that the walk early on today (after coffee in Panzano) will be pretty much uphill with a few shady spots – 4.7 miles with an elevation climb of 450 feet. At home this is nothing – but at home we don’t start a hike at 11:30AM on a blazing hot day. It’s either early or nothing!


On the shuttle ride to Panzano, we learned the story about the famous black Rooster, as it goes: Siena and Florence were constantly fighting over land boundaries. So, they agreed to use their roosters, to start a horse race from their respective areas at the first light of day when the birds would awaken and sound the alarm. The distance of the rider would determine which land would belong to each other. The Siena citizens had a strong healthy, white bird which they fed a lot; while the Florentines starved their black rooster in order to have him wake up earlier in search of food. As expected, the black rooster cawed well before time so that rider had a head start and as a result conquered much of the Chianti territory for Florence, compared to the Siena rider whose bird was quite lethargic with its full stomach and didn’t even think of waking early.


I believe Jeff managed to take 230 photos while hiking. This vistas were incredible with the fields of grape vines, the huge mansions, the rolling hills with mountains in the distance, and an old cemetery. We reached the city of Panzano where we could enjoy a cold beverage and a nice break from the sun. And from there we took advantage of the support van to get us to the winery of Stephan Farino where we would have a tour and then enjoy our lunch.


After our fill of wine, pomodoro, bread and sitting, we opted once again to take the shuttle back to our hotel - That pool was just too inviting and there was a gin and tonic calling my name. The one we had was quite unique made with a local Tuscany type gin and a Rhubarb tonic. Just what the doctor ordered (along with a dip in the pool).

Tonight was a pizza making lesson. Lots of fun and really great tasting wood-fired pizza of multiple varieties. And of course, a surprise birthday cake. After dinner we relaxed in the garden enjoying the cool night air. Great way to celebrate adding another year (at least its in the one's column and not the tens).


Posted by Where2FromHere 17:04 Archived in Italy Tagged black rooster panzana

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