After long tearful good byes and hugs we left Montefollonico.  I can still see my family standing in the street waving until we turn with the road and are out of sight.  Erica and Drew are still with us; Drew still our faithful driver.  Charlie thought it would be good little side trip to show Drew and Erica a winery in Multipulciano that we have had the pleasure of doing business with for a while.  We both carry the wines in the Market as well as enjoy them at home.

We arrived at Montemercurio and were greeted by Marco Anselmi, owner and wine maker and his brother, Andrea. We chatted a while to catch up because we had met the brothers a few years ago when they visited Atlanta.

In Montemercrio there is  a heart-warming story because it is not often that children follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.  It is for this reason that the story of Montemercurio in the hills of Multipulciano is a refreshing one and, yes, there is a long story here but I’ll keep it short.

Nonno Damo (short for Adamo) planted his first vine somewhere in the beginning of the 1960’s. Surely he was unaware of the long term effects of that first vine. However, after his death the vine lives on in his grandson Marco and his family.  They grow Sangiovese, Merlot and a small quantity of Canaiolo.

Nonno Damo’s heritage is now a white wine, Caduceo, along with a variety of red wines.  Marco speaks lovingly of his Nonno and you can understand his passion for keeping that first vine alive, as it should be.

Marco is a compassionate young man with a good command of English, and he spent some time with the four of us in his Cantina letting us taste a few of the wines. In our Market we carry Messaggero is a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Petaso, a Vino Rosso di Multipulciano, which we also enjoy in our home.

This is a busy time for vinters so we said our goodbye’s and took a little tour walking around outside and viewing the beautiful landscape which encompasses his vines.

On a little side note. I mention previously when I wrote about Montefollonico the story of a road that my Nonno meandered on that connected Montefollonico with Montepulciano. Well that trail actually starts near LaChiusa and ends here not far from Montemercurio in Montepulciano. I would never have known where the road was nor be able to view it had it not been for Marco a few years ago when I told him of a story my Nonno told me of a little winding path between the two cities.  I’ll be ever thankful to Marco for taking the time to show it to me that day. If travels take you to Multipulciano, consider visiting Montemercurio.  It will be most enjoyable. You can ask Charlie for particulars.


Pienza is a tiny village in southern Tuscany in a beautiful valley called Val d’ Orcia. Sort of between Motalcino and Multipulciano.  Pienza sits high on a hill and has magnificient views. It is widely known as the “ideal city of Renaissance” because of its perfect mix of architecture, food and tradition. It is here that Silvio Piccolomini was born.  He later became Pope Pius 11.  So here you will find Piazza Pio11 as well as Palazzo Piccolomini. Streets are narrow and because it is summer pedestrians fill them making driving and parking a problem but Drew has a handle on it. Fortunately we find a little place for a much needed lunch after early morning wine tasting (jpg).  Then is a little trek along the Passqgiatta for more picture taking and then we all head back to Le Vigne.

Erica and Drew will leave us at LeVigne and start their own excursion to Venice and then Florence where Erica gets to visit the enchanting David, Luca, Chique Terre and a few more days in Rome before returning to Charlotte.  It’s been fun having them with us for a few days.  They are enjoyable traveling companions but I know they are anxious to get out and explore on their own. They will not travel by car but have scouted out schedules and will travel from east to west and south by train.  Hopefully they will remember how to operate the train doors!

PS – One of their memorable stops is Florence where Erica is able to see the magnificent David. I am very envious because I have been to Florence several times but for various reasons I have not been able to visit the Museum where he lives!  The secret here is to obtain tickets in advance and be aware of Closed hours and Holiday hours.



We visit a few more days with Roger and Joan in LeVigne and, while there, take a one day trip to Bologna and visit FICO/Eataly.

FICO/Eataly is the largest agri food park in the world at 100,000 square m!  So large, in fact, that they offer adorable 3 wheeled bicycles complete with baskets to hold your purchases.

It is an Italian food themed park known to locals as the “Disneyland of Italian food” and for good reason.

It has more than 45 trattrorias, good restaurants, bistros, kiosks and bars.  No need to leave hungry.  If you are a cheese aficionado there is 30,000 square foot square space dedicated to all things formaggio.  There are also authentic handmade pasta, vino and a huge dolci areas.  You can sample and/or purchase in all areas. A worthwhile visit if you are in the Balogna area and I suggest you get there early.

Also before we leave Umbria, we have an opportunity to visit with Charlotte and Joe who are friends of ours from Atlanta but are now owners of an apartment in Assisi, were they spends months at a time.  We have an enjoyable lunch with them after viewing their apartment, which is charming and also with beautiful views and meet the young couple, owner and fiance’ of the restaurant who they have adopted as their Italian grandchildren.