Meet Packita: my project for my stay at Rendola. She is a gorgeous buckskin mare with a smart and sweet personality. She has been on many trail rides, but is just starting to learn how to hack in the riding ring. My job is to train her and Eraldo has been showing me knew ways of training a young horse that I have never heard of. I am learning so much and it is quite fun, yet challenging! Eraldo told me to think of training a horse like “playing with it and teaching it a few tricks”, rather than “giving it a workout.” Packita and I are referred as the “Two Blondes.”
Life in Rendola has been quite exhausting with all the work involved with the horse camps, but Kara and I have found ways to still have fun. Last Thursday there was a concert held the main Piazza of Montevarchi. The band was a Spanish-style band named Chimango! We had a blast dancing the night away, drinking a few beers, and trying to translate English/Italian to the locals.
On my day off, I decided to sleep in and then visit the Chianti wine country. My drive was spectacular and I managed to pull over to take pictures of some of the views.
My final destination was a small village called Castallina in Chianti, that is known to be one of the castles Florence used as defense against Siena. Castallina had a beautiful tunnel that ran through the castle and there was an expensive restaurant within the tunnel. It looked like a beautiful place to eat at, but I am waiting for Luca for the romantic meals.
Right outside of Castallina was a famous, old winery called Fonterutoli. They specialize in Chianti and Chianti Classico wines. The wines that I tried were spectacular, with so many rich flavors. I could tell that the vines were very old. The Mezzai family, who owned the estate, also owns estates in Merrema (Southern Tuscany) and Southeastern Sicily. I ended up buying a bottle of wine called Zisola from Sicily (don’t worry, it wasn’t the E395.00 bottle of wine featured in the pictures). Mezzai is also exported to the USA, so if you ever run across the brand I highly recommend grabbing a bottle!