Every little village in Italy has something unique and special to offer it seems. Montecarlo, situated high on a hill near Lucca, is no exception. My dear friend Angela is fond of this artsy piece of antiquity and was eager to share its gifts with me.
The fortress, founded in 1333, feels cozy guarded by large wooden gates that in medieval times could be closed snugly to prevent intruders from Pisa and Florence from entering. The two main narrow streets, paved of thick, uneven stones and of different colors, meet in a “V” at the piazza center. This small village is an amalgam of old exposed brick and stone and houses painted in rich Tuscan colors. This mix of old and new, is to me, what gives it its charm.
The main street was quiet this time of year. Angela says it’s crowded in the summer but with the European crowd. It is not on the tourist bus route yet, thankfully.
Now, to disclose one of Montecarlo’s treasures – its wine. This small region of Tuscany grows the grape varietals of Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebianno and Pinot bianco and makes a white wine using French methods. It is only here in this small part of the world you will find this unique wine. Eager to taste the famous Montecarlo Vino Bianco, we sat down outside a small trattoria for pranzo (lunch) and immediately ordered a bottle. Clean and crisp with a soft hint of fruit, it was almost too drinkable! It is the perfect warm weather wine. Angela and I sipped wine, took photos and chatted away about the lessons of life. I ordered a risotto with pecorino and pear and Angela chose a risotto with sausage and radicchio. Both were delicious. The pecorino and pear complemented the wine and was a combination I had never eaten. Angela’s colorful risotto was equally fabulous.
While we were eating, Angela recognized an artist friend who soon joined us for an after lunch Limoncello. I love traveling with the locals as they introduce me to so many engaging people with interesting stories. Thank you Angela for a beautiful day!