Poggio al Bosco, about a mile away.
We set out in a general direction, with the intent of going where the road took us. We rounded a corner and came across Osteria del Viandante, for what would be the first of two lunches there. You can see why with the view from our table.
We started out with a plate of pecorino cheese with little pots of honey with truffle and honey with saffron.
We drove on and stopped at the top of a peak to wander through the clearing and take in the view.
Now, what I'm about to reveal will horrify some of you. Don't be surprised if you find yourself covering your mouth, or simply slamming your laptop shut after you read this. You may never look at me the same way again. Okay, here goes.
Before this trip I didn't like olive oil very much.
Yep, I just said it. I always thought it tasted like crayons. But La Croce was the setting for an epiphany for me. One little taste made my eyes open up wide, and I finally experienced what everyone else is kvelling about when talk about "good olive oil." I think I've (cringe) become an olive oil snob.
We wound around some more and I asked Anson to pull over so I could get this photo. Yes, it was quite a view, but I wish you could smell the wild mint that I stepped into, the scent of which stayed on my shoes and perfumed the car as we drove on.
The next morning, we made our americanos in our apartment, and took off towards San Gimignano, one of the first of several medieval hill towns that we visited. Here's the view from the steps of the Collegiata, the town's main cathedral. There was a little antique market set up and Anson found one of our souvenirs from the trip, an antique bottle opener.
This was a great wall near the outside of the town. I really would have liked to peek inside the homes.
Our favorite dinner was at Ristorante La Fattoria, right down the road from where we were staying. As with Osteria del Viandante, they advertised "tipica cucina toscana" (typical Tuscan kitchen). "Tipica" makes it sound like "everyday," which it surely wasn't for us.
The house amaro and a light strawberry tiramisu finished off the night. While we ate and enjoyed the night I tried to remember every detail, knowing that this was one of those experiences I would want to relive time and again.