On the morning of August 22, Andrea and I got up and decided to do some wine tasting in the Chianti region. Michele at Greppi di Silli helped us with a map and suggested a number of wineries to visit. Our first stop was at Castel Il Palagio just outside of Mercatale Val di Pesa. We had been driving past this winery a couple of times and so we stopped to try it and ended up buying a bottle. Our next stop was at Villa Calcinaia outside of Greve in Chianti. We also stopped at Terreno outside of Greve in Chianti as well.
We then drove into Greve in Chianti and explored the town square and the local church. We stopped at a small pizzeria and ate our lunch on the town square. Following lunch we went to Le Cantine di Greve in Chianti where we tasted a number of local wines and olive oils.
We then drove to the monastery of Santa Maria del Carmine near Tavernelle Val di Pesa to listen to the nuns sing vespers. The monastary was built in 1466 and reoccupied in 1982 by this group of Australian nuns. We were the only people there for vespers, and after the service, one of the nuns came out and talked to us about the history of the group and turned on all of the lights so we could get good pictures. We ended up buying a number of our gifts for family members from the monastery as well.
After we left the monastery, we went down to Sambuca to see the Ponte Romano bridge. This bridge was built in 1069 and there is documented evidence that Leonardo da Vinci walked on the bridge. The bridge was partially destroyed in World War II, and rebuilt later.
After Sambuca, we went to see the ruins of Linari. Linari was once a thriving hilltop town, but was almost completely abandoned following an earthquake in 1807. We spent an hour and a half or so wandering around the ruins of the city, taking numerous pictures of the haunting, yet beautiful ruins.
After Linari, we stopped briefly at the Chiesa di Sant'Appiano which is a small Romanesque church in the village of Sant'Appiano. This church is marked by the columns that remain from the 5th century baptistry that was destroyed in the 1807 earthquake.
We then went to Barbarino Val d'Elsa where we had a wonderful dinner under the night sky before returning to the agriturismo for the night.