July was an expensive and drinking-intensive month. After Belgian beer and Irish Whiskey, we came back to Italian wine and dove right in to a ridiculously awesome launch party for a bottle of wine. If that’s going to be a thing for life, I’m very readily available to attend as a seat filler.
Il Palazzone is this vineyard up in Montalcino, Tuscany that is run by an Italian man and his Scottish wife, who, not surprisingly, is able to easily communicate with the hoards of Americans here in Naples. Back when in May, when my mom was visiting, we went to this winery at the strongly worded encouragement of just about everyone of our friends down here. When we were up there in May, the American owner was in town to sample the varietals that would go into their 2008 Rosso di Montalcino. Again, not to nerd out too much on wine, this is normally like your crap table wine. But Il Palazzone lets theirs sit in wood and the bottles for 5 years. You can get a rosso for as cheap as 2 Euro a bottle at some places, but this one is actually legitimately delicious.
Into our little Honda Civic Tom and I hopped and raced northward to Toscana. If there is one thing about Tuscany that is amazing, well that’s obviously wine. But if there was a second thing, it’s steak. Florentine steak is what I want heaven to be like. Just heaps and heaps of Florentine steak and pretty much wine from Toscana.
We stayed at this quiet (until we arrived en mass) agriturismo that had amazing wine. Fear not, we bought 2 double magnums after learning that they age well. It felt very, very necessary. If in 15 years you get invited over to our house when we open one of those, you are a truly, truly good friend. So, feel pretty privileged.
Il Palazzone has this ridiculously fancy infinity pool overlooking the valley of Montalcino. The view is so horrible, I’m including a picture so you’ll feel sorry for us. We do it all in the name of freedom. You’re welcome. And by “we,” I mean Tom. I stand by him with a glass of wine in my hand and my TripAdvisor account active. Dangling my feet into this fatty infinity pool, a glass of prosecco in my hand, a plate of antipasti in the other, it was pretty much the worst ever. Ok, I’m 100% lying, it was crazy swanky. Tuscan bread salad, rice salad, regular salad, pasta, and like 2 WHOLE COWS were on the menu for the evening. Steak after steak followed bottle after blissful bottle. Laughter was abundant as the sun set over the vineyards. It was one of those days where I’d catch Tom’s watchful eye from across the table and see that glint that still makes my heart full. We live a life that I could have never imagined and I share it with the most amazing man who loves me, flaws, crazy, and all.
Now that we’ve been here for 2+ years, a lot of our original friends have come and gone and new people are taking their place. We’ve met a ton of fun new people who I have hung out with a few extra times since our Tuscan adventure and had such fun with. It’s funny how long it takes to feel like you belong somewhere, but it’s finally feeling that way here. Don’t get me wrong, Bella Napoli has an expiration date and I’m kind of glad about that because it’s batshit crazy, but we have met some really wonderful people. Each one that comes into your life, be it friend or foe, teaches me something. I’ve found friends who would move mountains for me and for whom, I’d do that same in a heartbeat. It hasn’t been the easiest path and, believe me when I say that there have been a lot of lonely nights and more drama than I ever thought possible, but from this comfortable perch where I sit now, the view is pretty spectacular and the blessings are more than I ever thought possible.