The daily diary of a wandering restaurateur
December 6 - All Roads Lead to Rome

What can you expect from a day that starts by getting up at 3am? We did a pretty good job of trip planning to avoid the early morning departures, but the EasyJet flights from Geneva to Rome are either at 6:45am or 3:15pm. I didn't want to arrive in Rome in the late afternoon and face a drive to Tuscany in the dark ... so we got up in the dark, drove to the airport in the dark and took off in the dark!

OK, there are other airlines that fly from Geneva to Rome, but none that will take the two of us for about $30 each! They did it quite nicely, too. The downside is that it is cattle car seating with boarding passes issued in the order you check in. We were #1 and #2 but as it turns out it really wasn't a problem. There were only 50 people on the flight and we were in a fairly new Airbus A319. From my limited experience, I think EasyJet is a much better choice than RyanAir who offers really low fares then surprises you with a pile of fees, taxes and the like.

The good news about the early departure is an early arrival in Rome. We got on the road early enough to participate in the morning rush hour congestion ... although I am not sure it is any better later in the day. It was a strange day weather-wise. We had rain on the way to Tuscany -- torrential at times. At the least it was overcast until we arrived in Montalcino at which point the sun came out for awhile. While we were having lunch, it started hailing and we were later treated to thunder and lightening before everything dried up and left us with a clear and cold evening.

For as much as our time in France was NOT about eating, the plan for Italy seems to be "We came, we saw, we ate." We arrived in this little hill town just after noon. Montalcino is famous for its wine, the lucious Brunello de Montalcino. It is a warren of tiny streets, ancient stone buildings and Tuscan charm. We are staying at the Albergo Il Giglio, a nice little family-run hotel in the heart of town.

Our room has a private terrace overlooking the valley, a feature that surely would get more use in the spring and summer but very civilized, nonetheless. The room is small with stone floor and walls, a beamed ceiling and a funky little bathroom. Most everything you could need is within walking distance, sold in small shops by the people who own them. I have no problem with supermarkets, but they certainly shift the emphasis onto the product and away from the experience.

We just had to walk across the street for lunch (bearing in mind that the street is barely wide enough to drive a car down) and dinner was half a block away. The story of our dining adventures continues on the link below.

The Road and the Room

Dining in Montalcino

[Itinerary Page]

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