Web Rove of the Week: A Walking Guide through the Tuscan Hills

A Chiantigana View
During our lazy days spent zipping along the curves of the Chiantigana Highway (the incredibly scenic SR 222), I enjoyed breathtaking views through the open window to my right and the tiny Fiat 500 windshield ahead of me. After discovering Mary Novakovich's article "A Walking Guide through the Tuscan Hills," I realized how just amazing it would be to meander on foot through the steep hills, hidden hamlets and cypress-lined paths of Tuscany. Maybe on the next trip, we can work in a long walk not just through the hill towns but to them. When we get there, I hope to find a scene like the one described below. 
"At first I thought we had walked into a massive family gathering. About 20 people were seated at a long table under a shady vine-covered pergola, gossiping loudly in Italian over grappa and coffee. Cheerful, noisy, arms flying everywhere – a typical Italian family at Sunday lunch. Only it was Tuesday and it wasn’t a family; they were the guests at Franco and Umberta Lazzari’s Agriturismo Orgiaglia in the Tuscan hills, doing what comes naturally when you’ve had three courses of Franco’s delicious cooking, plus large quantities of Chianti and grappa.

The Lazzaris’ daughter Silvia spotted the two dusty and rather exhausted new arrivals. “We’ve been expecting you. Sit down over there, away from the noise. My mother will bring you a cold drink.” Within minutes Umberta was plying us with sparkling water and speaking excitedly, the odd German or French word punctuating her Italian. She seemed genuinely thrilled to see us, and we soon discovered that we had collapsed into the most convivial and yet relaxing agriturismo in Italy.
------- Excerpt from A Walking Guide through the Tuscan Hills by Mary Novakovich

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