Under the Tuscan clouds. Yes. I know. It is supposed to be under the Tuscan sun, but if you saw the clouds the days I was in Tuscany, you would agree with the name change too.
After an amazing day adventuring en route to Siena and the truly adventurous Context Tour in the city full of a cast of characters (more on that coming up in a separate post!), we once again left Florence and headed to do more exploring in the rural hills of Tuscany.
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We wandered a bit with Mr. Misadventures taking photo after photo of the Tuscan countryside.
Eventually, our stomachs dictated a stop and we stumbled upon San Quirico d'Orcia, a very, very sleepy town, in fact as we drove around it [twice] we weren't even sure it was inhabited!
Thank god, we were starving, and persistent, as we were about to have a meal of a lifetime!
We parked our car in front of some serious signs that made me wonder whether it would be there when we returned (although I wasn't sure who exactly was going to take it away, as we hadn't seen a soul)! We walked down a narrow street in front of a beautiful church and started searching for restaurants.
We turned the corner and found La Bottega de Cacio, a very unassuming location that was well-designed and full of light (as someone who likes to take food photos, that is always a huge score in my book!).
We walked in and asked if they were serving lunch and the lady of the house nodded her headed, seated us, and handed us a menu.
And then we saw it.
A truffle menu.
That's right. Three courses of truffle-centered dishes.
Come to mama.
My previous experience with truffles was limited. I’d had a pathetic omelet with truffles in La Drôme, France. And of course, the amazing truffle sandwich I had just experienced a few days earlier at Procacci.
Earlier in the year, I had read Langdon Cook's The Mushroom Hunters and knew Italian truffles were prized as some of the best in the world, particularly the white.
I didn't know what kind of truffles would be served in the truffle menu, but it didn't matter. They could have been purple with pink dots, I was getting that menu.
I didn't even have to ask the hubby, he was all in!
We ordered (deciding to just have 2 out of the 3 items) and selected wine and waited in anticipation.
The first course arrived. Boar carpaccio covered with (white, squee!) truffles. There were truffles for days!
What does truffle taste like? Hmm, hard to describe. Personally, I think of it as if garlic and a very pungent mushroom had sex, the result would be a truffle, but that is just me!
While we were still marveling about the first course, the second arrived. It was a very simple pasta loaded with shaved truffles and black pepper.
At this point, I am just beside myself with happiness, maybe that is an effect of truffles, but I am not sure. There was probably barely perceptible humming going on.
Mr. Misadventures and I barely spoke except to say how amazing it tasted. That and the fact we were glad we had not ordered the third course….steak with truffles on top…we were stuffed and satiated with the two courses and happy, happy clams.
We rolled out of there and back to our (still there) car and continued on our way. The taste of truffle lingers on the tongue and in the mouth for a very long time. For the next 8 hours, I tasted truffle in my mouth, as if there was food in my mouth at that very moment, I have to say it is an odd sensation.
We drove along nearly deserted roads taking in the rolling hills and gorgeous clouds.
The simplest building, farm, house, or plot of land beckoned for us and we imagined what retirement in this place would be like.
Under the Tuscan clouds.
Every photograph of the landscape looks painted by the hands of some higher being, it is remarkably beautiful.
I don't think I can ever get tired of that view, but I won't bore you with any more shots of green, green fields, blue, blue skies, and fluffy clouds! We wandered for hours and eventually started making our way to Montalcino.
Our plan was to explore the fort in the town. And climb up for more incredible views of the countryside and that of the town itself.
After visiting, we walked through the town and as we were doing so it began raining so we ducked into a bar for a Spritz. Even drinking alcohol couldn't kill the taste of the truffle!
The rain disappeared; the sun came back out to brighten the sky and we followed the Tuscan clouds back to Florence.
I promised no more Tuscan under the cloud photos, but how can you resist this?
How about you? Have you visited the Tuscan countryside? Is it on your bucket list?
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