Horseback Riding in Chianti

Our Friday started kind of sketchy, because we couldn’t find the group of people we were supposed to meet by the McDonald’s (it’s truly a travesty that there’s a McD’s in Firenze).  Then our drivers found us and led us over to a van in the train station parking lot.  We rode with a woman who was taking a Vespa tour through Chianti.  Nicole, Emily and I were the only people going horseback riding.

The people at the stables were so sweet.  They let us walk around the barn area and pet the horses.  They had Friesians, the big black horses with the long, wavy mane and tail, and they were so beautiful.  We ate some Italian snacks out of the vending machine in the locker room and then got ready to ride.  I never caught my horse’s name, but Emily’s horse was named Brutta.  Which, by the way, is Italian for “ugly,” so poor Brutta.  She was actually very pretty.  Em was kind of nervous about riding because she hadn’t done it as much as me and Nicole, but her horse was very sweet.  Brutta liked to stop in the middle of the trail and start munching on the tall grass, and Emily would laugh and try to pull her back in the right direction.  It was so peaceful, weaving around the grapevines and walking through forests with songbirds in the trees.

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Afterwards, we were taken to Monteriggioni, a 13th century castle in Chianti.  From a distance it looks like a crown, and a Medici lady wore it as a crown on a stamp or something, so it’s called the crown of Italy.  We had a wine tasting in what was apparently the oldest room in the city.  It felt so private, since it was just the three of us.  The lady leading the tasting was so nice and informative abou the wine.  (That’s what I wrote in my journal, but there’s no more detail.) A lot of the wine came from a nearby winery called Monte Chiaro: Terra della Grigia.  Anyways, it was really good.  The lady had white, pink and purple hair, and I really wanted to take a picture of her for the portrait project in my photo class, but I was too nervous to ask.

We met up with the Vespa people for lunch.  It was a huge lunch with bread, oil and vinegar, bruschetta, two kinds of pasta, and pie and gelato for dessert.  And more wine.  I was so full! Image

After lunch we walked around the castle, but we weren’t feeling that great and were all kind of cranky, like trail riding really takes it out of you.  Monteriggioni is so pretty, with olive groves everywhere and these panoramic views when you stand outside the city walls.

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