Castellina in Chianti
- Agriturismo (Italian Farm/Villas/Hotel)
We find our way to the plaza and meet these two gentlemen. They ask us to hop in their car so they can drive us to the car. Apparently, when people are done with their car they just park it somewhere that is free and available (mainly around the market area). We drive around the area to locate where the previous renter had left the car. My first thought: “interesting car return system.”
We find our cute little car. The color is black and it’s so tiny. Our luggage is basically bigger than this little guy! Anyway, the other guy leaves and the younger cuter guy stays with us and gives us a quick lesson on how to drive the SMART car. It seems pretty easy. I decide to take the first shift with driving. When we ask the rental guy how to get out of the city and drive to Chianti to do some wine tasting, he hops in the passenger seat and pats his legs so my friend can sit. He tells us that he will show us the way out of the city and onto the Chianti Loop road. My friend (not shy at all) got on his lap and we drive off. The car was pretty easy to drive but I was sort of worried about my skills, especially after seeing the drivers in Rome. Well, Siena was a little different and slower paced so I was getting the hang of it. I wanted to grab my camera to take a picture of my friend sitting on rental guy’s lap but couldn’t’ do two things at once. Once we find the road, we pull over and I finally take a picture of the guy. This is one of the very reasons why I love Italy and it’s people.
We get on the 222 Chianti road and follow his directions. By this time my cold is in full swing. But I was in Tuscany, so I was determined to keep going no matter what.
Driving around gave me another perspective on Italy. There were no magnificent statutes, historical monuments or important museums here.
The attraction was the awesome landscapes, the charming towns and the people we met along the way. And I know it sounds silly, but we really had fun driving the SMART car. As we drive along the road we see more cyclists riding along the road, rain and all. It was so cool! One day, I would like to return and do a cycling tour also.
It’s now getting late, so we head back to Siena. It took us a while to find the market area where we needed to find a free parking spot. As soon as we find a spot we park the car and write out a little note with directions to the car for “Rental guy.” It’s now a down pour. We find their office and drop off the keys and note. We finally get to our hotel. We pack and get ready for our trip up to Cinque Terre. After taking a shower, I take some cold medication and crash.