We drove in on the only access road on offer, made our way slowly along this street as the buildings crowding in rendered our journey slower, and wished we'd remembered to get our B&B's address out of the suitcase (in the boot). So we stopped where there was room to do so, and I asked a passerby; "Signore, per piacere, forse Lei lo sa; dov'è La Palazzina Cesira ?" and thought him very rude ("Listen, mate ! -- I paid a lot of money for this Italian I'm speaking ...") when he just stared at me.  He eventually raised a hand and pointed, silently, over my head. I turned around. On the other pavement, about three steps away, was a building with a sign hanging from it; «Cesira, B&B», it said. I thanked him profusely, as if it were his doing that we had stopped right outside our digs, and his head shake as he wandered off said it all -- "Tourists !".

Montalcino, which we explored on the Friday in gentle rain, was noteworthy to me mostly for the second-best ristorante we ate at during this trip -- La Taverna Grappolo Blu on the Scale di Via Moglio, owned and run by the handsome Luciano. Well-known in print long before we got