If you ever visit the town of Montepulciano, put on a pair of comfy shoes and head to the top of the hill. E Lucevan le Stelle is a restaurant with an outdoor patio that overlooks the rolling hills of Tuscany. The restaurant is named after the third act of Puccini’s opera, Tosca.
“When the stars were brightly shining ” tells the story of Mario, a painter in love with Tosca. It became the favourite watering hole of another pair of well-known lovers – Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart during their happier days filming scenes from New Moon.
( For Twilight fans, Montepulciano was the stand in for Volterra hence the New Moon t-shirts and menus in some of the more touristy spots). At twilight, e Lucevan Le Stelle became our neighborhood gathering place during two days in the town.
Owner Kristian and Luca moved tables and kept the wine coming as the new arrivals to our group kept coming on our first night. They could not have been more gracious.
There is something so wonderful about seeing old friends walk through the door of the perfect little restaurant, in the perfect little town, at the start of a perfect little vacation. My friends Cindy and Phil only found it because a kind-hearted truck driver took pity on the first timers trying to navigate the twisty roads in the dark, and he drove them there himself.
Those are the kind of people you meet everywhere in this wonderful country. They take the time to talk, to share their knowledge, and while you enter as strangers, you often leave as friends who you hope to see again.
Luca was a big fan of the locally produced Valdipiatta, a small winery with some big wines. It became our wine of choice for the eight of us over dinner, lots of catching up, and getting acquainted. Even with eight bottles, the dinner cost us 45 Euros per couple.
The stars shone brightly for us that night.
I love Italy!