Wandering the hilly, narrow cobblestone streets in our home base of Montalcino, a medieval city of interlocking passageways, steps, and alleyways curving around and through and behind and beyond the main square, I reminded myself I was walking through history spanning eight hundred years.
Stopping for lunch, I ordered a glass of the house wine. A bottle arrived at the table. When I protested, I was told to drink what I wanted and I would be charged accordingly. Not a bad system, I thought.
Later, sipping more wine – this is Italy, after all -- on our apartment balcony overlooking the vineyards from whose grapes it was made, we debated whether to eat in or go out for another Florentine steak. The fact that our apartment was housed in a structure dating back to the 13th century on a farm boasting one of the best-known vineyards in Italy was a bonus.