I woke up Sunday morning a bit groggy from the birthday celebration the night before. Perhaps it was all the Riserva or perhaps the five course meal that ended after midnight or maybe the cumulative effects of gorging myself for the past eleven days. Either way, I knew I could not drive the windy road to Panzano and indulge in the seven course meal of only meat at Solo Cicia. Call me soft, but I could not do it.
Cypress Drive Leading up to the Petroio Estate
Pamela & Gian Luigi Lenzi
I asked the Lenzis for some recommendations as well as some driving directions. After consulting a few books, we decided on Arnolfo in Colle de Vall'Elsa, which was basically on the way to Lucca. My sense of direction and decision making was off today and it took me forever to find. I did easily find Bar Arnolfo in the Piazza Arnolfo but it was not what I was looking for. The owner at the bar wanted to give me directions from his bar in German however. I felt more confident when we switched back to Italian.
Tortino di Verdure
I was thinking a big meal then something small for dinner but when I finally found Arnolfo, it was late, a bit too fancy and I was not that hungry. So I chose an enoteca and had a salami and cheese plate, along with a tortino di verdure con creme di pecorino e tartufo. The tortino was like a sformato, or a small flan stuffed with veggies, eggs and cream. Served with a salad and a pecorino truffle cream, all the sliced meats and a glass of Morellino di Scansano, I felt satiated. My lunch was very attractive to a bee. I didn't know bees liked salami as much as I do.
My Last Plate of Salami
The kitchen at the enoteca closed until dinner so the staff is now ignoring everyone who is approaching the patio. I am also being ignored, which is too bad because I would have enjoyed another glass of wine. It is an enoteca after all. I guess I will behave for once and settle for a coffee. Now if I can only get his attention for a macchiato...
The drive took forever to Lucca mostly because I was stuck on two lane roads behind small cars with tourists. Seems everyone was on a Sunday drive! The approach and parking situation in Lucca was full of traffic and kind of ruined my day. Too many cars, one ways streets, pedestrian-only areas and no parking frustrated me! I finally turned on the GPS on my phone. It's why I paid for the international data plan, right?! But it was not exactly accurate with all the huge old buildings.
Finally found the hotel and sorted out the parking. The two hour drive turned into a seven hour travel day. Not what I had been planning. How was I going to do any shopping?
Now I just wanted a decent simple dinner and go to bed early.
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Location:Chianti to Lucca