Day 13 - Saturday, June 23 - Florence - Full Day Excursion to Verrazzano Castle & Siena.
Visit Verrazzano Castle to hear about the fine art of blending four types of grapes to obtain the famous Chianti Classico. Enjoy wine tasting, accompanied by local specialties. Next, we go to the hilltop town of Siena to visit its well-known Cathedral, and the beautiful Piazza del Campo, site of the biannual Palio, Sien's spectacular medieval-style horse race. Return to Florence. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight Florence.
Today was quite a treat; first we got to sleep in. The weather was beautiful and clear with a slight breeze. We boarded our coach to visit a winery at the Verrazzano Castle. We had an unexpected side trip to the American WWII cemetery located close by. We were actually back in America for about 30 minutes. It was beautifully landscaped and the sight of it was quite moving. Our next stop was the winery. What a spectacular view! I walked around in "photo heaven" as every view was worthy of a picture. Our guide Gino (another one) took us on a tour of the wine cellars and explained the process to us. We were then given a lesson in wine tasting and a wonderful meal of pasta, bread, salad, beans, and pork. Every one was "happy" with the wine tasting. Most of us made purchases and began trying to figure out how to bring home our treasures. They also manufactured some very tasty olive oil. I'm bringing back two bottles. Our next stop was Sienna, the site of the Palio, a very intense horse race held twice a year. It was a picturesque town with many shops and lots of gelatto. I finally had my first gelatto and it was well worth waiting for. We then journeyed back to our great hotel for some R & R. Tomorrow we head back to Roma. It is hard to believe that our tour is almost over. Hopefully you will be reading this before we return. The Internet service still gives me a lot of frustration. I know you are patiently waiting for our pictures and I will do my best to catch you up in Roma.