Friday, 10 January 2014

Getting lost in Colle Val d'Elsa

The only reason we visited Colle Val d'Elsa was because we wanted to try the two stars Michelin restaurant Arnolfo - and for a good part of the hour before the designated time, we thought we would never find the restaurant!

We spent the morning in the newer section of town attracted by the large street market. An hour before the appointed time, we started to head to Arnolfo's.  We managed to drive around in circles because the GPS kept directing us to cut through the streets barricaded by the market.  Other than crashing through the barriers, we couldn't figure out how to get to our destination.  I almost destroyed our rental car when I drove over a median (thank goodness it was a one way street) and for a half hour after that, was waiting for the engine to drop out of the car - good thing the Germans made cars specially built for this kind of driver.

No one in the Coop market have heard of the street Arnolfo was on - it was a little surreal, when you consider that it was just in the old town with the same name. We finally decided to drive out of the town and just use holistic navigation.  We saw an older town up a steep incline outside of the new town and decided to try our luck there.  Believe it or not, our instincts were right!    We found the restaurant easily on the main street, had a great lunch and even saw a part of the old town before we head home on our last day in the Tuscan countryside.  For photos of Arnolfo and the delicious lunch, please go to Foodsparks.

Market day and all the men stood around - one wondered what they were chatting about, if at all


Food is more interesting

The old town is within view of the new town, incredible that people didn't seem to know the name of the main street in the old town...

The nice path up to the old town where there was very little parking

In the space of four hours - the length of our lunch, the farmer had almost finished ploughing his field of sunflowers across the ravine from Arnolfo 

This must be the first time that I saw a traffic light inside an old town

Nice shop front

A grocery store

An interesting contemporary art gallery

By the time we finished lunch, it was 5 o'clock - the streets were deserted.  Colle Val d'Elsa is actually quite big.   I think we only visited a small section of the town.  But it was our last day, we were all a little worn out and almost looking forward to leaving even though we had a great time.  

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