Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Montepulciano and the Big 40


Most of us are familiar with Montepulciano as in “Montepulciano d’Abruzzo” wines, but this is not where that wine comes from it comes from the Abruzzo region, on the eastern coast of Italy). Montepulciano is the Renaissance hill town known for the Vino Nobile of Montepulciano...among many other things. But for us -- two families that really were mostly concerned with having no obligation to do anything but relax, have a great time with our kids, and drink lots of wine and prosecco -- it was a sweet town to meander around, get the most delicious gelato, and buy locally-made copper pots.  It also happened to be a week where the town comes together for a historical festival, called the Bravio dei Botti, where the locals dress in 14th century costume. The event culminates in a wine barrel rolling competition.  One night the whole town turned out for a huge spectacle in the Piazza Grande (the main square at the top of the town), and at 9 pm all the lights went out and the entire town was lit up by candlelight.  Just on the outskirts of town is the most beautiful church ever, San Biagio, and across the road from it, the delightful restaurant La Grotta, where we had my 40th birthday dinner.
Lighting candles at San Biagio.
Practicing for the Bravio in front of San Biagio.
Rabbit gnocchi at La Grotta.
The coolest copper shop.
The Bravio.
Birthday dinner at La Grotta.
Gelato at Dolcevoglie, a cute gelato shop in town.

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