Castello di Oliveto

If driving into Florence was hard, driving out is twice as hard. Today we had a scheduled wine tasting and luncheon at a castle called Castello di Oliveto in a town called Castelfiorentino at 11:30 am. Unfortunately, the directions there were unclear and it took us two hours just to get to the center of Castelfiorentino (which is actually a beautiful mountain town.) The drive turned into a liesurely cruise along the vineyards as we drove around hopelessly lost. After a while, Dad finally gave in to our pleas and asked for directions, which were so helpful, they set us another hour and fifteen minutes behind.

Finally, we arived at the castle at 12:45 pm. It sat on 3,000 acres of land, used for growing grapes, olives, and livestock. It used to belong to a noble family who housed popes that were visiting in the area, but now it’s used for income by a wealthy family.

Me and Rachel in front of Castello di Oliveto

Me and Rachel in front of Castello di Oliveto

When we walked into the great courtyard, we didn’t even know if we would get a tour. The guide (Louisa) pointedly looked at her watch, but gave us a private tour/wine tasting/lunch anyway. The courtyard was beautiful, as well as the view from the terrace. We also got to see the wine cellar, where they make 10 different kinds of wine.

Afterwards was the wine tasting and luncheon. For those of you who are wondering, Rachel and I only tasted a few. And there’s actually no swallowing involved, if you catch my drift. For lunch we had sheep’s milk cheese (wierd but good), salami slices, prosciutto, and bruschetta. It was all so fresh and filling. Later came the biscotti, and we were stuffed.

Wine tasting/luncheon at Catello di Oliveto

Wine tasting/luncheon at Catello di Oliveto

We started walking around the vineyard afterward, but when we came across two shotgun shells, we hi-tailed it back to the car! From there we wound our way further up the mountain to a quaint town called San Gimignano per Louisa’s suggestion. It was hilly with cobblestone streets and old buildings. It was very clean, and very tourist-y; Dad said it reminded him of Disney World. But it had a fantastic view over what seemed like the rest of Tuscany, and we got a lot of souvenirs too.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano

Later on, we drove back to Florence for a dinner of pizza and…you guessed it…gelato!

Thanks to all who have been commenting- it means a lot even if I can’t get back to all of you 🙂 I’ll write soon! Ciao!

P.S. I’m feeling much better thank you for your concern. 🙂

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9 responses to “Castello di Oliveto

  1. hi! It sounds so pretty there! Now I really want to try gelato! 🙂

  2. Amanda, I think you have found your calling in blogging – Your posts are awesome! I would definitely join the Gelato Religion – especially if it calls for daily portions! Keep it up – and enjoy the rest of your trip!

  3. Hi Miss. Bibbins,

    I really enjoy reading your travel blogs. It’s been the first thing I do now when I enter UMAC.

    I love the picturesque way you describe the town and also what you are eating for lunch. LOL

    Sifu & I have always said we would go to Italy for our 25th wedding anniversary but it sounds so wonderful there I dont think I can wait another 11 years.

    I really think you do have the talent for writing. It seems to come very natural for you.

    Keep filling us in and take lots of photos.

    Sifu Rita

  4. Hi Amanda,

    Glad the trip is still fun and you and your sister are making lots of memories! The pictures you are posting are great, you both look like you are having a great time.

    Take care, Virginia

  5. Ann, Russell Crowe perhaps?

  6. That sounds amazing!! For some reason I’m the castle as you describe it reminded me of the setting of that movie about the stockbroker who inherits his uncle’s villa and then ultimately decides to chuck it all…? All gold sunsets and green fields and red grapes and passionate locals? You know the one? Starring Russell somebody? Or Richard? The guy who was in Gladiator? You know? Am I rambling?

    Anyway — I’ll think of it…

    p.s. I’m in Woodstock, VT, now with precious little internet bandwidth.. but still I’m spending it all on you! xoxo

  7. It looks like you are having a wonderful time. I’m soooo jealous! Your narration of your trip is very articulate and mature too I might add!!! In other words…you’re wicked smart!! LOL Can’t wait to see the rest of the pics when you get back. Enjoy the rest of your time there. We just got back from Storyland…Sam & Marley had a blast!! (And we did too)
    Miss you!

  8. Ohh, it all sounds so wonderful. BTW, the word here is that “self-made” gelato is suppose to be the best. If a vendor doesn’t make his own gelato it’s like buying hood ice-cream…at least this is what I’ve been told 🙂 XO

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