Our driver, John, was courteous, punctual, and an excellent driver of an excellent Mercedes — but these things are to be expected. What might be less expected was his friendliness, his willingness to slow down or stop for photo ops, his explanations and information, his help and understanding with my broken Italian pronunciation and the rules by which to ensure proper syllabic stress. We heard so many different pronunciations of “Medici,” “Accademia,” and so forth, that we were grateful that John so graciously acceded to our requests for clarification. John was also patient, nonchalant and understanding when we managed to get ourselves lost in the twisting streets of Montalcino, making us almost fifteen minutes late for his scheduled 1 pm departure. In fact, he was congratulatory about our having finally found our way out of the maze so quickly. He had parked near the Fortezza, so there should have been no problem. But, incredibly, the Fortezza, which dominates the city, is not visible from most streets; a fact to which we can now attest. John was also funny, whimsical, and philosophical, and contributed greatly to our enjoyment of the day, which we shall never, ever, forget.