Heart of Tuscany – where bedbugs do bite, rustic cooking does exist and such deep holes on the dirt tracks, chickens can’t cross… but, absolutely breathtaking scenery and the Black Truffle is king.
Best of all, the working ‘original’ Cinqucento at the Agriturismo.
Bit of advice – get a SatNav. It’s crucial for sanity if one intends to enjoy the view and not have one’s head stuck in a map while the driver abuses one. Sign posts are few and far between and directions suddenly disappear as fast as they appear. Alternatively – be blessed with C, our virtual routemaster. Thank God for mobiles!
The motorway stops are clean, the duppio is marvellous and they double up nicely as supermarkets with a fantastic array of salami, cheeses and all things culinary. Great stop before the airport and much cheaper, too.
Montalcino is devine. A hilly little place with shop after shop selling the local Brunello and Pinci pasta. Definitely worth a stop and walk. Look for the little bakery selling the local panforte.