Arriving from Buonconvento, we spent two nights in Montalcino, due to logistical challenges with the Easter weekend--we took the next leg of the trip as a day-hike and caught the bus back.
Montalcino is a lovely hilltop town that seems to thrive on the regional agriculture and tourism. There are lots of wine shops and wine bars where you can sample brunellos and the local cuisine. Eliza tried a flight of brunellos (2004, 2003, and a 1999):
Eliza couldn't resist trying the spaghetti there on the menu. First the waitress brought out the crostini in the previous photo. Then she created the pasta dish by presenting a plate of plain noodles, then in front of me drizzling the oil over it, then grating fresh parmesano, then grinding fresh pepper. It was absolutely the kind of thing Loretta would fix herself while preparing a bloody steak for Ronny.
The town's bookstore had the following offerings:
(Patricia Cornwall...Marley and Me...Letters to Obama from Children...felt like home...)
We were there on Good Friday. The town holds a procession from one church to another, winding through the streets and stopping at each major "intersection" for what Eliza interpreted to be one stage in a mass (there was a combined Catholicism/Italian barrier to overcome). The procession included life-size crucifixes and a large bier borne by citizens of the town. So many townspeople Much of the town followed in two columns behind the priest and the band. The band was made up of brass and drums and played a dirge of sorts. Eliza didn't take photos of the procession, but she did capture the lights beforehand: