We left Florence early and drove south toward Greve. Our first stop was a visit to the US military cemetery just south of Florence (12 km) where some 4,400 American soldiers are buried. Sadly, some 1,400 of the remains of those buried at this military cemetery are unknown. A most moving experience.
Leisurely traveling south with a few brief stops to sample the local wines and food, we drove up a steep hill to Montefioralle (overlooks Greve) for lunch.
La Castellana in Montefioralle
Montefioralle is one of the many medieval villages perched on top of a hill that dot the Tuscan landscape. An attractive and quiet village, it also happens to be the home of Amerigo Vespucci, a cartographer whose maps aided Christopher Colombus “discover” America.
We dined at a small restaurant just outside the town walls called La Castellana (reservations highly recommended at 39-055-853134). The food was very good, especially the bruschetta with lardo and truffles.
The service was great – a helpful and enthusiastic young woman – and the traditional Tuscan fare was properly prepared. We ended our leisurely meal with a customary grappa and cafe.
Our accommodations for the next 3 days was a small cottage on an olive farm in the village of Lucolena (about 10 km over the mountain from Greve). We had stayed nearby during a previous visit and found that it was just the place to get off the beaten path although we were never far from Greve and the other wonderful villages in the region.
Falorni in Greve
If you have visited Greve, you will undoubtedly have stopped at Macelleria Falorni. This is the ideal location to pick up provisions. Falorni has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of hams, sausage, and lardo that elevates home dining to a new level. The picture below is just a sample of one of the “simple” dining experiences that we enjoyed in the kitchen of our cottage in Lucolena.
Need wine? Nearby Falorni Enoteca has a wide selection of Tuscan wines that you can sample to pair with your meal. We indulged frequently. With the exception of Lamole (more later), dining at home proved to be a most desirable dining experience for our group.