Italy in 2005

A Photo Journal

Eleven friends explore Tuscany:
wine, food, scenery, history & art


Our days:
September 29
Michela & Bergamo

September 30
Two Bergamos

October 1
Our Tuscan villa
October 2
Sunday market
October 3
Wine & Partytime
October 4
October 6
San Gimignano
& Siena
October 7

October 8
Back to Milan

In early 2005 several of us decided that this was the year to go to Tuscany instead of our usual trip to the Napa Valley in Italy. We wanted to learn more about Italian wines so to be in the heart of the Chianti region seemed like a great destination. In close proximity we could also find Italian history and art.

After much research Claire found the Villa Rignana near Grève-in-Chianti and we were all in for the ride. Everyone made their own plans and we hope to be able to share some of that with you.

Bill and Melanie arrived in Italy first and spent time in the north including the Lake Como area. I think Melanie was searching for George Clooney but he was elusive as always. They found some great places to shop and by the time we arrived had a good grasp of the contents of their Italian phrase book.

Michael and I arrived a few days later and went to Bergamo just east of Milan where we stayed with Michela, a former AFS exchange student to our kids' high school in Los Angeles. Her boyfriend had arranged a winery tour for us; Miky walked us up and down and around both the old and new parts of Bergamo; and Miky's sister prepared wonderful meals. The warmth and friendship they showed were wonderful and we thank them all.

Kate and Sandy arrived next and returned to Monterosso in Cinque Terre, the site of a trip of several years back (ie pre-children). I think they really enjoyed revisiting those earlier days.

Claire and Michael and Tammy and Alex arrived in Milan on October 1st and we all made our way to the villa down several very small dirt roads. Katrin was also able to join us, making a seven hour drive from Switzerland.

Claire had arranged several winery visits that we did in groups and all of us branched out on our own visiting San Gimignano, Sienna, Florence, Volterra, and many other spots. We ate many wonderful meals at the villa and many at restaurants. We visited markets and took naps. We drank wine — primarily Chianti Classico, Super Tuscan (blend) and Brunello as well as Vin Santo and Grappa. We partied with no excuse and Sandy arranged for a special party at the villa for Kate's 40th birthday. WE HAD FUN!!

After our stay at the villa some of us returned to Milan and home. Tammy and Alex went to Lake Como for a couple of days and Claire and Michael went to the beach area of Cinque Terre on the northwest coast.

Now all are home and trying to maintain the wonderful relaxed state that we reached in Italy. Are minds are full of the sights and sounds and are mouths remember the tastes and flavors. It was a great trip and Michael and I want to especially thank all the special friends that made this trip what it was.

Ciao and arrivederci, Suzie

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