On our last full day in Barga, we went to tour and have lunch at a classic Tuscan vineyard and visited the small hilltop town of Montecarlo. We went to the same vineyard last year and I was eagerly looking forward to the delicious lunch and the beautiful scenery. Just walking up to the vineyard is a treat. The gravel path is covered by a canopy of trees and dappled with shade and a smattering of sunbeams.
The tables are beautifully set under open-air structures. It’s a dream setting and it was a perfect day to visit this venue. It was warm and sunny, but not too hot.
Fattoria Il Poggio, the vineyard revisited, was the perfect balance between being high-end and having a comfortable family feel.
Since I already toured the vineyard last year, I decided to sit on a bench in the shade to write in my journal and paint. One of the vineyard dogs decided that was a good spot, too, and took a nap at my feet.
I decided to paint the building that was in front of me with the beautiful staircase wearing an arch of well-manicured greenery.
I enjoyed the time to just sit and be present. Sketching and writing slows down time and forces me to focus on details.
I ended up just taking videos and pictures for Instagram stories while we were eating lunch, so I don’t have any to share in this post. I can tell you, though, the lunch was superb. We started with the pasta course…Wide and long noodles shaped like ribbons topped with a tomato-based meat sauce. Dave then brought out bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and meat and cheese platters. It was the kind of food you could just pick at and nibble and not realize that you are completely stuffed. In addition, there were eight different wines to taste.
We finished off the lingering meal with biscotti, coffee, and grappa. I tasted the wines last year and, not being a big wine drinker, didn’t taste any this year. I did take a sip of grappa at the end of the meal because I felt like it’s a part of the Tuscan meal tradition. Grappa, in case you didn’t know, is like a moonshine. It is very strong and burns the throat on the way down, but there’s something oddly refreshing about it in small amounts.
Once everyone made their purchases in the Vineyard store, we loaded back into our van.
Our driver, who was obviously very proud of this region, asked if we wanted to see Montecarlo. Well, when a local wants to show you something, you say yes. This is not the Monte Carlo, but a small Italian town tucked in the vineyards of Tuscany.
It is a small, picturesque town, at the top of the hill. The main street of Montecarlo is narrow and leads to an arch that has a beautiful view beyond.
Off of the main street are little inviting nooks and alleys.
I spotted a woman in the middle of one of these alleys shaking out a checkered tablecloth.
Next time I’m in the neighborhood, I would love to spend more time in this town!
The view beyond the arch was breathtaking. It was just impossible to capture with the camera. You could probably see Florence from there.
In addition to the view, I love the architecture and all of the little details that revealed themselves to the observant.
It was the perfect end to our week in Barga.
The next morning, we would all be heading our separate ways. Some were going to Venice, Bologna, and the French Riviera. My mom and I were headed to Florence for a quick stop before we headed home…