Two weeks have passed and the first of my guests started to arrive!!! I was so excited to begin to share the sites, sounds, smells and taste of Italy.
I have moved from Florence to Giardino Incantato, a lovely Tuscan home I found through Airbnb. It is an idyllic setting and perfect to entertain guests and leverage as a home base in Tuscany.
Rachael, my daughter arrived mid week and we had an awesome day out in Florence on her first day. The weather was amazing, the sky perfect ( especially for picture taking) and our stop for a Caffe Macchiato and Cappuccino and visits to the Mercato Centrale ensured several chances to smell and taste the wonderful Italian cuisine.
It turns out the world is indeed very small, as walking along the River Arno we ran into a KPMG partner from Saskatoon, Canada, Tom Robinson and his partner Suzanne. It turns out he too retired and was having a tour through Italy. We shared wine and dinner and exchanged stories…. What a chance meeting???
The following day we maneuvered our way into the city centre to Stazione Santa Maria Novellato pick up Mary Lou and Virginia who arrived by train from Rome. Perhaps at a later time I will do a blog on the challenges of driving in Italy and navigating Florence. I think I and several of my guests have several more grey hairs after our weekend driving expeditions. But we tried not to let it get in the way of our enjoyment.
After a glass of wine in our lovely garden, we headed off the first evening to Tre Pini http://www.ristoranteitrepini.it/Welcome.html a restaurantnearby.. we had a lovely wine and Tuscan food…although our favorite item on the menu was the pizza we shared as a starter..pizza in italy is truly something else!!
Saturday was dedicated to roaming the Chianti region…visits to towns, to enotecha’s to taste and buy wine, a lunch stop to relax and drink more wine and indulge in a spectacular sharing platter.
Our favorite town was the medieval hillside town of San Gimignano.
San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany. I remembered it as one of the prettiest Tuscan towns from an earlier trip to Italy – I have a lovely picture of its unforgettable skyline in my home… five towers in the medieval style …examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The town built from the 12th to 15th centuries is encircled by three walls and has four town squares. It is a charm to walk within and around the walls encircling the town with its amazing viewpoints into the valley below
And of course our favorite past time was tasting and buying wine….Mary Lou and Virginia managed to find some amazing bottles of wine, typical to the region, both from the Italian grape sangiovese and the super Tuscan variety. Another blog will be dedicated to the wines we have enjoyed.