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National Lampoon's Family Vacation in Italy; A crazy family in Italy Part 1

National Lampoon's Family Vacation in Italy; A crazy family in Italy Part 1

Jul 29th, 2011, 02:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 927
LGarabito - Do you remember the name of the ridiculously expensive restaurant in Assisi with the 2 plate minimum? It might help others avoid the situation you found yourself in.
hazel1 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 04:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
I am laughing at all of your mishaps. You ought to sell your trip tale to some movie maker! thanks for sharing!
irishface is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Great trip report! Thanks for bringing us "along"!
scotlib is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
We've walked out of restaurants in the US when we have found nothing on the menu we wanted...or only had uninspiring choices that seemed overpriced. We always make sure to see a menu before sitting down. Now, if you'd ordered something and had 2nd thoughts, that would have been bad, but I don't think you did wrong.

This report is shaping up to be really entertaining.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,175
TDudette is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 10:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 45
Sorry for the delay! But im back with more on my trip.

Day 3 was Chianti day. We had a full day planned of wine tasting so we stocked up on a lot of breakfast at Il Borro before heading out to the region. We had a lunch tour scheduled with Villa Vignamaggio in Greve, so we took the scenic route there to kill some time. Chianti is absolutely beautiful...looks a lot like California's landscapes though, but still beautiful. We stopped in Radda to take a few pictures of the town and browse their shops. It was only supposed to be a 20 minute stop but it turned into an hour because my SIL and I decided to split from the group in search of a bathroom and got lost. My family and i were in a little market browsing their meats, delis, and penis pastas (what's up with that by the way?...it was everywhere in Italy), when my SIL and I had the sudden urge to pee and couldnt hold it in- so we both left the family in the market in search of a bathroom. After desperatly searching for a place to relieve ourselves, we finally came across a little outhouse that was a nasty as can be- but when you're desperate you take what you can get (it's times like these i wish i was a man- you men have it so much easier!). After our little excursion, my SIL and I got lost finding our way back to the market where we left our family. But we had fun on our own because we took pictures, bought some sweets, and wandered through the alleys of Rada. We finally stumbled into our family (our husbands weren't too happy with us given that they were worried about us and noticed we didnt care- LOL).

We finally left Rada and headed off to Villa Vignamaggio for our scheduled lunch tour. Somehow, we got into the conversation that women are better navigators then men and men are better suited for the driving component only (sexist i know, but my SIL and I didnt mean it as we were only teasing our husbands)so my brother and my husband wanted to prove to us that they could find Villa Vignamaggio on their own without our help. So we let them...and it turned into a disaster. They pulled into this dirt road as it was a "short-cut" to the winery....but the dirt road started to climb up a mountain. It was a winding, steep, narrow road and very scary. My MIL and my Mom were freaking out in the back of the car because all they saw was a steep cliff to their left and no barrier to protect us if the car tipped over. All the while, my SIL and I are laughing hysterically listening to my husband and brother argue their way through their "shortcut". To make things worse, there was no one on this road so if we fell off the road- no one would have come to our rescue. Finally, they decided to pull out the GPS for help (and therefore losing their arguement that they were better navigators) and the GPS was even worse. It started leading us down the mountain and it took us to a tree- it thought the tree was Villa Vignamaggio (weird). But sure enough we continued down the road and ended up at Villa Vignamaggio's back door entrance. We finally made it although it was a very different way to get there.

We checked in to our lunch tour, and we met our tour guide who was extremely nice and very knowledgable. I could tell this man has severe passion for his wine- which is awesome. The boys (aka my husband and brother) were snickering their way throughout the tour and i found out later it was because they thought the guide looks and talks like Borat...and they were right! So we nicknamed him Borat I must say Villa Vignamaggio's grounds is spectacular! It used to be the home of THE famous Mona Lisa and Da Vinci was known to visit this Villa from time to time so the history of this winery was pretty neat. The food they served in their lunch was spectacular. We had such a great time that we lost track of time and forgot all about our other scheduled tour at a neighboring winery. We all drank and ate to our pleasure and bought a lot of wine and olive oil from them. This was the beginning of our wine buying mistake. I'll explain why at a later time....

We finally left Villa Vignamaggio even though we didnt want to leave and headed to the other winery we were supposed to go to Castello di Verrazano. We showed up 2 hours late to our scheduled tour and they couldnt accomodate us since we were late- which is fine cause it was our fault, not theirs. We decided to walk around and just take pictures (honestly, i was glad we didnt do their tour cause i was so wasted i didnt think i could handle another glass of wine). We shopped their stores and bought some of their wines and honey. I was actually kinda glad we opted to stay longer at Villa Vignamaggio- because i wasnt too impressed with Castello di Verrazano's grounds. Villa Vignamaggio had a more intimate feel to it, it wasnt packed with tourist, and i felt like i was at home. At Castello di Verrazano, there were a ton of people (multiple tour busses were in the parking lot), it had a very commercial feel to it, and it didnt feel very welcoming. In fact, i felt like i was in Napa Valley- not Italy. It was very americanized and the staff weren't too friendly either. So i was kinda glad we missed their tour. Needless to say, we were only there for less than an hour as we all wanted to leave.

We started making our way back home and stoppped in Greve's local market as we wanted to make pizza at our villa for dinner. Their market was very hectic...i was a little shocked to see we had to pay to use a shopping cart. It was a neat experience though being able to shop as the locals do. After shopping, we headed to the famous wine tasting store in Greve and drank even more wine. And then we had some gelato- nocciola served in a waffle cone stuffed with nutella! YUM!!!

We made it back to our villa and cooked our first home-made pizza and it was delicious and yes, we drank even more wine Chianti day was a blast and im a bit suprised i remember as much as i do given that i drank so much wine! Tomorrow, we head off to visit Florence- our first big city visit of the trip!

More to come!
LGarabito is offline  

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