Day 11 – Breakfast in Riomaggiore > train back to Florence > half day wine tasting Chianti tour > dinner at Santa Maria Novella area
It was sad to leave this lovely village and our apartment after 3 nights stay. We were so glad that we spent a few days relaxing here and to get away from the city. I missed having breakfast made from a cosy kitchen with a cool breeze from the patio, whilst viewing a quaint street with neighbours hanging washing from their windowsills.
Our lovely Airbnb apartment in Riomaggiore
We took the train back to Florence after we left the apartment. We were extremely lucky that the train strike didn’t affect so much of our trip. We were back on the 3 train rides, via La Spezia, rushing from platform to platform with our luggage routine.
We got back to Florence at around noon time. This time we stayed at another apartment for 2 nights near the Piazza Signoria as the apartment we stayed in Florence earlier was booked out. There is a small pantry here with a very basic kitchen (I guess it’s too small to be called an open kitchen) and more importantly there is a washing machine. After travelling for over a week, we needed this as we were running out of clean laundry.
Our Airbnb apartment in Florence (near Piazza Signoria)
As soon as we dropped our luggage, we grabbed a sandwich and some snacks and rushed to the gathering point for our half day wine tasting tour in Chianti (booked from Viator.com as well).
Chianti wine tasting half-day trip from Florence:
The tour bus took us to a winery called Castello del Trebbio. Not sure if it is famous but we are not wine expert anyways. It was a nice to have a wine tasting experience during our trip in Tuscany. It was much easier to join the wine tour without worrying who is going to drive (in our case, Mr Map would be the one who needs to stay sober as I don’t have my driver licence) and how to get there.
A little more information about Chianti wine
There are 7 subzones of Chianti and the 2 most popular regions are Classico and Rufina. Chianti classico is a well known premium Chianti wine and it can be identified with the black roster trademark on the neck of each bottle.
The wine expert talked about the history of the castle in the courtyard, an intriguing story involving nobility, power, politics and murder similar to a storyline from the Game of Thrones though involving a vineyard instead of Kings Landing, before taking us to the wine cellar.
We were taken to the old wine cellar where they kept the vintage wine. It looks a bit creepy and dusty in there, though the tour of the wine cellar itself was extremely enjoyable.
Besides the wine, Castello del Trebbio also produces extra virgin olive oil. The wine expert explained the benefits of having extra virgin olive oil and told us the difference between normal olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. It was quite interesting to know.
We tried 2 glasses of wine and their olive oil. Personally I had better wine tasting experience in Hunter Valley, Australia as they offer more variety of wine for free, though Mr Map assures me that the house wine in any Italian restaurant we had during this trip is better than any wine he had to pay for at a restaurant in Hong Kong.
We went to the souvenir shop after the wine tasting but we did not buy any wine. We still had another week travelling in Italy and it would be quite heavy bringing the bottles along.
Castello del Trebbio
Address: Via di Santa Brigida, 9, 50065 Pontassieve FI, Italia
Remarks: The wine tour for individuals (families, couples, small groups with less than 8 people) is usually offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30am. The complete tour lasts about 2 hours. Advance booking is needed at least one day before (calling 0039 335 6550585).
That was the end of our half day tour and we were taken back to Florence. We went to a Tuscan restaurant called L’osteria di Giovanni at the Santa Maria Novella area. It is a popular restaurant with high rating on yelp & tripadvisor.
Upon arrival, we were given a complimentary glass of prosecco and a dish of fried snacks that was a bit too salty.
How could we not order any truffle dish especially when it was the truffle season (late autumn and winter). I love truffles and I thought it was very good.
We finally got to try the Florence specialty – bistecca alla fiorentina (T-bone steak rubbed with olive oil). Whilst it looked spectacular, the quality was a little underwhelming, it was good but a bit dry. For the price though, we thought we have had better ones in Hong Kong, which is a little concerning, as people always complain about the quality of steaks in Hong Kong.
L’osteria di Giovanni
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun dinner – 19:00-23:00; Sat & Sun open for lunch – 12:00-15:00
Address: Via del Moro, 22, Florence
It was still a very good dinner overall. Our favourite restaurant in Florence would undoubtedly be il latini though.
Which is your favourite restaurant in Florence? Any good winery in Chianti? I am sure I will be back to Florence in future. It is my favourite in Italy.