Monday, April 11, 2016

Day 4: Relaxation at Villa Leonidas

Partial view of Villa Leonidas near Lucca Italy

Sometime around the first of the year, Balboa Winery in Walla Walla, Washington, one of Paul's favorite family owned wineries, announced a wine vacation in Lucca, Italy at a Villa in the mountains. This would have been like telling Paul there was  free Neil Young concert in Antarctica. He was all over it. Villa Leonidas is located on a terraced olive farm and very beautiful.

Lemons abound.

The wisteria covered terrace. Paul has been frequenting it for coffee in the morning.

Most of these folks in the small group are from Walla Walla and know all about wine and local gossip.

Some of our companions.
 After a relaxing morning, we were off to a 400 year old Family owned restaurant with a Michelin star, Antica Locanda di Sesto Trattoria.

400 years, same location, same family
 They specialize in Tuscan cooking. The food was very tasty.
Preparing pasta tableside inside a wheel of pecorino romano.

Paul's lunch
Of course, there was wine. The house red and white were, not surprisingly, made IN HOUSE by the owner and very delicious.
Local fresh veggies
The whole schtick of Tuscan cooking is "slow food' and local ingredients. I don't think we will have much trouble with not liking our meals.

Overall a very slow day, but we could use one after so many rushed excursions through the world of the Medicis, art and Cinque Terre.

Paul joined the group for dinner and wine tastings. I'll let him tell you about that!

"Everything you see, I owe to pasta."
                                               ----Sophia Loren

Paul's Ponderings:   A welcome slow day in the area....we started late, had a long lunch, then a group dinner cooked at the villa.   The weather was incredible -- warm and sunny, but not hot -- and the day started sitting on the huge veranda looking out on the valley below.   There are birds flying about and the distant smoke of olive wood being burned.   Late in the evening, we had a nice group dinner with various wines and discussed (surprise) wine.   A nice end to a lovely day.

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