Montepulciano – Castelmuzio – Grassina (Thursday 24 August)
We were ready to head home after 2 nights of barrel rolling and limited sleep (much as we liked Montepulciano).
The drive home was a mix of windy country roads and crazy busy fast freeway. The country roads were a combination of bitumen and dirt – although the dirt was largely when we didn’t listen to Cilla, our GPS, and she had to take us an alternate route!
We passed a number of quaint, villages – Petroio, famous for terracotta pottery, Montisi, known for music and nearby Crete Senesi (where the walking is deemed to be lovely) and San Giovanno d’Asso, boasting a Museo del Tartufo (a museum for everything there is to know about truffles and funghi).
We decided to stop in tiny Castelmuzio (Il Castello to the locals) for a stroll around the small hamlet. Set on a volcanic limestone hill, this almost untouched medieval village has a structure typical of a fortified castle. It is ringed with walls and bastions. There are 4 narrows sloping streets, all leading to the square Piazza della Pieve, under which lies an ancient travertine based water cistern. It’s also where we found a quirky little bar for our much-appreciated macchiato.
After doing lots of winding through the hills of the Crete Senesi, we hit the main arterial and headed for home.