Tuscany, Italy - Day 4
We started our morning off just like the locals with a brisk mile walk to the Piazza del Popolo and a quick stop at a Caffè Ripetta for a pastry and a cappuccino. This little cafe was awesome and so friendly. We would highly recommend stopping here if you get a chance. In the pictures below I wanted to point out the Egyptian obelisk known as the Flaminio Obelisk of Sety I and later erected for Ramesses II that was brought back to Rome in 10 B.C. after the Romans conquered Egypt's Heliopolis. This is one of the largest and oldest in Rome. This was one of the coolest piazzas to visit because of all the different fountains and structures.
The tour we did was with Viator where we took a bus to the Val d’Orcia region, near Siena. If I could use one word to describe Toscana it would be breathtaking. Megan and I checked out Napa and Sonoma last March and it was pretty wine country, but this experience was on a whole other level. One thing I didn't realize is that Italy is around 80% mountain terrain so no matter where you are there are mountains surrounding you. Our first stop was in Montepulciano which is a town renowned for its fine wine and views. The Renaissance hilltown is best-known for its production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a full-bodied red wine. Atop the town there's the Piazza Grande and an amazing overlook to the surrounding farms.
After our tour of Montepulciano we made our way back to the bus for a drive to the Abbazia di Sant' Antimo in Montalcino for rest before arriving at Poggio II Castelare for lunch.
Once lunch was wrapped up it was on to Pienza which is an incredible town that was created by Pope Pius II and is one of the region’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
We made our way back to Rome just in time to capture this amazing moment at the Piazza di Popolo before making our way toward the Spanish Steps for dinner at Alla Rampa per a recommendation from our tour guide Peter. I had the carbonara here to compare it with That's Amore and although it was good That's Amore still reigns supreme.
We wrapped up dinner and headed back to the hotel to pack up because the next day we were spending the morning at the Vatican and then checking out to board our cruise on the Norwegian Epic in Civitavecchia.