Chianti: the District, Not the Wine.

Yesterday was the day I had set aside for seeing something of the area surrounding Siena. While touring around the Tuscan countryside, I mentioned to my guide how pleased I was with my first experience traveling by train in Italy. She said that Italians constantly gripe and complain about their rail service.
 
“Trains often do not arrive on time,” she said, “and the carriages are sometimes not cleaned well.”
 
Ah … well, I’m afraid they’ll just have to tough it out.
 
In the meantime, the internet connection in Siena was just impossible to deal with, and it’s something the hotel or the City of Siena or somebody has got to get straightened out. All the guests were talking about it.
 
I took the train to Lucca this afternoon and the internet at this hotel is working, so here are a few photos taken yesterday during my day traveling around the countryside surrounding Siena . . .
 

. . . starting with the town of Chianti, which is where the red wine comes from. That’s the Chianti town hall in the photo. Actually, there are many different varieties of chianti, the most popular among the locals here seems to be Chianti Classico. And indeed it is.
 

This is the center of a very small village through which we passed on yesterday’s excursion. I am sorry to admit I never got the name of the town, but that doesn’t keep us from admiring the centuries old stone buildings, does it?
 

The Barucci family has turned this tiny hamlet into a most welcome rest stop. There’s a small hotel and two restaurants, each with a Barucci son or a daughter in charge. This restaurant/wine bar has been named Bar-Ucci and is run–and I do mean RUN– by the daughter named Paola.
 

The whole area is hilly and most of it is now given over to olive trees (foreground) or vineyards (in the distance). It’s also the area that was claimed by both Siena and Florence, with Florence eventually winning out. The photos are a bit dark because it was a bit cloudy yesterday, but it’s a very beautiful area.