San Gimignano

We love this area. It’s beautiful. The rolling hills, the vineyards, the views of San Gim, the food, wine,  the friendly people. 

I have started a new chapter here. I miss my friends rom Rusticolucia – Narelle, Anne, Lindy, Geoff, Jill and Chris. We had a great time there.
Now in this lovely house we are starting a great week.
The Wilsons and the Harrisons have discovered they have many connections through their school days and after, and have shared many a story about people they know.

Sunday night we went to a concert in the town theatre and then had dinner in a very good restaurant . The fact it was pouring with rain made choosing one very easy. we had to be able to run to it. But we enjoyed it very much. I had veal with peppers. YUM. 

The next day we went to Lucca. My home for two weeks. It felt so good to be returning and  showing everyone around. It was a little rainy which was a shame – but we managed to fit in a few sights and a long visit to my favourite shop – Lo Sorelle in the Antiteatro . It has gorgeous tablecloths and other assorted things. Carmel and Jill loved it and between us we bought a few things! Christmas will be great – lots of decorations, etc.

Steve won the shopping! He bought a new briefcase, Shoes, two belts, a toilet bag. Closely followed by Carmel with her tablecloth, woven bag, assorted lovely things. I got shoes, Jill a tablecloth. All in all a great day and lovely lunch at Sergios a little trattoria I had visited at least 3 times when I was in Lucca.

We got back to our house and Barbara has set up the table and then arrived with plate loads of antipasti. six different types – all delicious We washed it down with their own wine and olive oil. This was followed by pasta with a ragu of wild boar. Her gift to us was a cake made by nonna. 

We had a wonderful night of stories, jokes, laughs and friendship.

Tomorrow the girls are visiting San Gim and the boys are doing “farm things”. Steve asked Barbara if they could help with the grape picking. I’m not sure she was overly enthusiastic!

Photos at last : the last few weeks

I can now add photos thanks to Steve’s computer:

Friend Pat at the cooking class

Pat and I with Paolo and Roberto

Wine tasting with Sigrid and Carla

My Italian class: Gerhardt – Austria: Sigrid – Norway: Sydny – Berlin: Carla – Amsterdam: Clara – Austraia : Hans Peter – Austria 

With my favourite sister in Florence

Beautiful Floence

Anne and Narelle at Trevi fountain

Our food tour of Rome. What a day. 

Anne in our lovely house in Spello

Afternoon gelati in Bevagna

Anne,Narelle Jill, and Lindy


Rusticolucia to San Gimingano

We spent last day exploring the area to the left of the house.

This included a spa town – Terme Eugenee. It was like entering a movie set or as Chris said ” a bit like the Stepford wives”. It was mostly new building and lots of hotels an manicured gardens. The people were older and quite manicured looking as well!

We were going to look at the  shops but as usual we arrived too late. So we walked around the town and found a cafe for lunch.  After a fairly ordinary lunch – except for Geoff who had an enormous calzoni  – the boys headed off to return the car to Padova.

So the girls thought a little spa treatment would be good so found a strange place where the staff were Brazilian and booked in for a pedicure for me, a manicure for Lindy and Jill decided we would run out of time so opted out.

We collected the boys from the train and headed home. The girls wanted the scenic route via the gelato shop but the boys choose the practical route, so after dropping them off the girls headed back out for
gelato but got distracted by the garden we had spied earlier in the day. It was magnificent. They are said to be now one of the most important Baroque gardens in the world. We wandered around the gardens with Lindy as our guide and discovered the statues, the maze, rabbit  island, the joke garden (getting its name form the water that spurted up as you walked past) . We had a lovely time and forgot about gelato!

That night we shared a beautiful last meal back at Da Mario. Thank you Wilsons and Shaws for joining me on a wonderful adventure.

The next morning after farewelling mama and papa we headed off to Poggibonsi to meet Steve. And there he was at the station. Lovely to see him again after such a long time.

We arrived at the house and it is so lovely. a true Tuscan farm house, built by Marais himself . His daughter Barbara is gorgeous and she seems to run the rental business. They all live downstairs but the house is so solid you don’t know they are there. We have a space with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.
The kitchen has a double marble sink and exposed brick. There are large picture windows looking straight towards the towers of San Gim, a fireplace with the family crest painted above it, gorgeous furniture and a huge long table where we will spend many an hour sharing drinks and food. Perfect!
Such a pity no more friends will be here to share it after the Harrisons arrive  tonight.
The views from the house are amazing – straight to San Gimingnano .

We had a lovely dinner with Chris and Jill in the town before Carmel and Peter Harrison arrived around 9.30. After s few shared glasses of wine we went to sleep in our very comfortable rooms.