Toccata e fuga a Montalcino

Toccata e fuga a Montalcino

di Ivano Martignetti

Come in una missione segreta, ieri son passato a Montalcino consapevole di poter solo annusare un po’ gli odori della campagna, sbirciare negli angoli del paese e scrutare fugacemente i modi di fare degli abitanti del posto. Non dei turisti, anche se mi ha sorpreso sentir parlare quasi più russo che inglese, sempre che un’ora scarsa di “missione” possa fare testo..

Ebbene si, anche un incontro clandestino, come quello tra me e la città di Montalcino, possono lasciare qualcosa. Io son rimasto colpito dalla tranquillità con cui il tempo scorre tra i vicoli del paese, sedotto e abbandonato dalle offerte delle enoteche presso le quali non ho avuto il tempo di sostare, ingolosito dai menu dei ristoranti e da una bottega in particolare, presso la quale però non ho resistito alla tentazione di rifornirmi di un bel panino alla finocchiona e di un pezzo di pecorino.

E poi i paesaggi, i viali alberati che anticipano l’ingresso alle ville, alle cantine, alle residenze trasformate per accogliere i numerosi e facoltosi turisti. Per quelli italiani è più dura, i prezzi non sono alti e di questi tempi..


Never go to “La Tasca”

Dear friends, dear wine lovers.

On my blog you’ll never find a suggestion for a place or a wine I haven’t personally experienced and enjoyed in the first place. But it is also important to share our negative experiences, because with so many valuable and interesting places to go, especially in Milan, it would be stupid to choose one of those places where a posh owner (or manager, whatever..) makes you feel very unwelcome for no reason: this is the case of La Tasca, a so called wine bar in Milan.

If there is only one thing that no none can take away from me, this is the freedom in expressing my thougths, and I don’t care about the politically correct in these cases, I hope you appreciate that..

I tried to book the place for 15 people to celebrate a birthday, I was told that advanced booking was not possible, but we could try to go there and if there were enough places we could stay. Fair enough. We went there and this guy, with the place completely empty, told us that we could use only 8 chairs, the others should be standing up. Why? This is how he manages the place. Thankfully I was on the phone and a friend just dragged me away telling me me were moving into another place, but when they explained me what just happened, I really wanted to go back there and ask for some more explanations, especially because the only thing I heard going out was “Well done” from a lap dog waiter to his cocky manager, perfect example of why Italian people don’t have a good reputation sometimes..

Avoiding to discuss the stupidity of this decision from an economic point of view, I can imagine that this guy is so rich and posh that accepts only models, want to be famous people and friends in this place where you can drink some overpriced wine like hundred other places in this city. It’s a shame and I’ll neve go back there. Now that you know, you can choose to go there or avoid it, depending on what you’re looking for when you go out and choose the place for a special night or for a glass of wine with your friends.

I prefer places where you can feel comfortable and people don’t try to act as if they where better then they really are.

Dear La Tasca guy, dear loser, if you are reading this you can reply whenever you want, I am not scared.

The wine world is made of love for the grapes, respect for the nature and the people working in the fields, in the cellars and drinking a bottle of wine with their friends. If you don’t understand this basic rule, you’re a fraud. You can have all the money in the world, you could be friends with a couple of football players and some plastic soubrette, but you remain a loser.

Best regards,
Ivano Martignetti

Beautiful Maremma

Dear Wine Lovers,

What are your plans for this summer? Are you going for the beach or for the vineyards? Well, if you’re still undecided, think about Tuscany, think about Maremma, the ultimate answer to every wine lover’s dream..

Castagneto Carducci, Donoratico, Bolgheri are so beautiful, the landscapes are so perfect, you’ll desperately fall in love with the place..

Vineyards, olive trees and the sea: this is my memory of Maremma. Also, you can expect tremendous quality at the restaurants and great red wines to match your dishes.

Visit as many wineries as you can, go to the wine bars to taste more wines and to get good advice from the friendly staff, you want to make the most of it, believe me!

I’d like to get your impressions on Maremma too, it has climbed up my top places list and I definitely want to go back there several times 🙂


Voglio andare ad Alghero…

Just wanted to share few pictures about Sardinia in Autumn..

I spent 3 beautiful days there, based in Alghero and eating amazing food matched with typical Sardinian wines. Do you all know how many good reds you can find there? Here is a suggestion for your next trip, have some good Cagnulari and don’t leave without a bottle or two of Carignano del Sulcis, it’s just amazing.. I didn’t mention Cannonau but just because you already know it for sure!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Too tired to add wine cellar references tonight, but I promise I will do it in the near future..:)

Ivano Martignetti

Wine tasting hot spots

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Does it matter the place where you taste your wine? Is it just the same sipping it sitting on your sofa or looking across the Chianti countryside?

Well, unless you have this view from your sofa, or your kitchen table, I think it does make a difference, and watching at these pictures I hope you will agree and share your thoughts with me on this blog 🙂

Having experienced amazing food and really bad attempts of improvised chef expertise in the most complete and celebrated Italian region, Tuscany, I can’t get out of my mind the beautiful sceneries of the countryside and the warm hospitality found in Carmignano, Pistoia or in the area of Siena, but something was missing on the way..

The combination of quality, people and place it’s difficult to find everywhere you go, but in Tuscany it should be taken for granted, because if it’s true that tourists want to see Tuscany when they visit Italy their first time, it’s obvious to me that this gift has to be taken as a responsibility by Tuscan restaurants and wineries. They are often the face of Italian food and wine world, so they can’t afford to serve cheap house wine to the customer, that it’s just not acceptable to me and by the time every restaurateur will understand it will be too late..

Anyway, let’s focus on the good things and enjoy the virtuous examples 🙂

Ivano Martignetti

Pistoia, not Pistola..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You wake up in Artimino, beautiful Tuscan countryside with olive trees surrounding your hotel and a Medici villa just in front of your room..

Where do we go next? Pistoia for a change, an underestimated city in a region where Florence and Siena are the “big guys”, but full of surprises and very enjoyable for its architectural assets and eno-gastronomic offer: olive oil, osterias and restaurants where you will not feel out of place, ever..

Here you can find just few “inspiring pictures” of the day, of course coming here will give you a better taste of what I am talking about..

Hope you enjoy it.. cheers