Firenze/Greve/Villa Vignamaggio


We had an early breakfast with Nicole’s parents at Hotel Casci and then we checked out and had Paolo call us a taxi to take us to the SITA station.

Bus to Greve

We took the 9:30 SITA bus to Greve. On the bus I tried to call Andy and got his voicemail and then I called Villa Vignamaggio and requested that they call us a taxi for 10:30. We arrived at Piazza Trento in Greve at about 10:20 and were wondering where to catch the cab that we had called for when we ran into Andy’s friend Anton and we shared the mini-bus to Villa Vignamaggio for 15 euro, which we split two ways. Our room was not quite ready so we left our luggage in a corner, grabbed a glass of chianti and schmoozed for a while.

Villa Vignamaggio


At 11:30am, we all boarded a bus and went to a vineyard called Località La Piazza Castellina 1.

We ate some appetizers and tasted a few of their wines:

There was a very short cooking demonstration where they demonstrated making some super simple appetizers.

And then had lunch at their Osteria Alla Piazza – bruschetta, bread with white beans and bacon, and crepes with broccoli and ricotta, tagliatelle bolognese (chunky), risotto with mushrooms, salad, beef medallions, fried potatoes, fried vegetables, chianti, cafe latte, cake, and biscotti.

We sat with Ago, Erin’s sister Jill, her husband Kyle, Krista, Trevor. Then we came back on the bus, chatting for a short time with Murray.

More about Villa Vignamaggio

Villa Vignamaggio is a Tuscan villa with a lot of history. It was the birthplace of the Mona Lisa (in 1479) and it was used as the setting for Kenneth Branagh’s film Much Ado About Nothing.

Our room at Villa Vignamaggio was actually quite awesome. It actually had screens,

a nice big bed with nice linens,

a bathtub, a bathroom that you can turn around in,

beautiful furniture, plush towels and robes. There was even a little compact kitchen inside of this nifty armoire:

The grounds also had beautiful gardens and a nice pool:

Dinner and Reese’s Pieces

Later on, Andy’s brother Allen brought back a bunch of pizzas which we ate in Gigi’s room. Andy’s mom was funny – she was trying to find out what happened to some missing Reese’s Pieces. Apparently they don’t have them in South Africa so she had Andy bring her a bag of them, but some of them went missing.

What’s the plan, Stan?

We agreed to meet Jon and Santiago at 8am tomorrow so we can hopefully get a ride with them to Firenze.

1 From

Osteria alla Piazza
Località La Piazza, Castellina in Chianti, Italy
Phone: 0577-733580
EUR 13 to EUR 18
Castellina in Chianti

In the middle of a vineyard 15 km (8 mi) north of Castellina, with one of Chianti’s most spectacular views, sits this restaurant. It’s worth the drive into the countryside to relax on the terrace and enjoy the sophisticated menu and, certainly, the delicious desserts. Try the girasole ai quattro sapori, a giant vegetable-filled raviolo flavored with fresh tomato sauce and a few drops of cream; it arrives at the table looking much like a girasole (sunflower). Reservations essential weekends. MC, V. Closed Mon. and Jan.-Mar., and weekdays Nov.-Dec.

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