With the coffee brewing we all got ready for a wonderful day in the country. With that delicious Italian coffee to wake us all up we were off through the Niccone Valley and up and over the hills down to the beautiful valley where the Villa Piazzano lies.
This year was no exception. We started with a little tour of their grounds and garden while they completed our tables following their morning breakfast to their patrons. When we arrived a beautiful table awaited us and inside was their typical, colorful and most savory array of foods from fruits, to pastries, to eggs, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and of course sweets! It is fantastic and sitting on the terrace overlooking the pool and grounds is so picturesque.
With brunch completed we took a group picture at the steps into the topiary garden, and then were given a tour of the villa, now a hotel, and the wine cellar. It's fascinating to hear the history of this villa which dates back to the 13th - 14th century. The wine cellar is wonderful - the smell alone is most memorable as it was occupied by the German army who upon fleeing cut holes in all the casks and filled the cellar with wine. When the owner returned upon the exit of the Germans, they invited all of the neighborhood farmers to bring buckets and get the wine. You can still smell that wine!
Our original plan was to have brunch and then head to Arezzo for the antique fair, and then Cortona for dinner but I could see that my group was fading from the Candelaria pace, so I offered them the option to head back to the country houses for a little rest and recuperation and they eagerly took me up on it. So back over the hill we went and everyone hunkered down for a most common Italian siesta.