I’m going to try sharing these photos of the day more often to keep my blog active on days I’m not writing.
This was taken on the grounds of a villa in the hills of Tuscany outside Florence in 2011. It was my second day in Italy and, still out of whack from not sleeping on the flight, I awoke before dawn, which is an extreme rarity for me (I’m frequently just going to bed before dawn). Determined not to let this fortuitous turn of events go to waste, I headed outside on a chilly fall morning to catch the sunrise.
The quality of this photo is not the best since it was taken with a point-and-shoot camera, but I like the imagery of peering over the potted plant at the Tuscan countryside under the early morning sky.
For about 23 years I have considered Florence my second home. I feel 100% at home in that city where I had a home for six years in my 20s, a magical time to roam and live in Florence. I confess that I was not the cook in my home, my ex was a fabulous cook.
His mother was and is the best cook I have ever met. She would be happy to see me making pasta with friends in her city. Today is the Festa di San Giovanni, the patron saint of Florence. The whole city celebrates and my friends and I always used to as well. These photos are not from a San Giovanni party but from last November when I was in Florence.
Elisabetta, the wife of a dear friend, was in charge of the pasta operation. Great fun was had by all as my friends seem…
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I am writing You for giving You some suggestions for Your trip in Tuscany and Umbria.
Consider that the apartment is located in Castiglion Fibocchi, a little village (approx. 2.000 inhabitants) close to the city of Arezzo which You can reach by car in 15 minutes.
The location is very central in Tuscany and with the car You car easily reach the most beautiful part in Tuscany and also in Umbria.
For what concerns Tuscany, first of all I give You some advices for the places You can visit just around the apartment:
– Il Borro : at approx. 4-5 km from the apartment (10 minutes from the apartment by car); a medieval Tuscan village built with patience, hundreds of years ago, where every architectural detail was meticulously planned, has been restored to the likes of a renaissance painting where You can also visit a very beautiful vinery (http://www.ilborro.it/en/activities-sports-e-tours/visits-to-the-cellar);
– if You are interested in tasting wine, I can also recommend a beautiful vinery close to our apartment (just 1,5-2 km, 5 minutes by car) named “Tenuta La Pineta”, the owner is a friend of mine and if You take an apointment with him You can make a tour of the vinery, taste a very good wine and also olive oil and honey (http://www.tenutalapineta.it)
– Arezzo, my city, at approx. 12 km (15 minutes by car) where You can visit the city centre: Piazza Grande (the most beautiful square of the city), the Cathedral, the beautiful Pieve (Romanesque church) and the Church of San Francesco with the frescoes of Piero della Francesca. On the road from Castiglion Fibocchi to Arezzo You can also visit “Ponte Buriano” a romanic bridge which according to the latest studies seems to have inspired Leonardo da Vinci in the painting “La Gioconda”.
– Cortona at approx. 40 km (50 minutes by car) a very beautiful Etruscan village: You can visit his Etruscan walls, ancient churches and museum. Close to Cortona we recommend to visit the Etruscan tumulus tombs , the most antique form of buria and also Lake Trasimeno.
Then if You go a little bit far:
– Florence (approx. 80 km from the apartment …. 1 hour by car): surely one of the must in Tuscany really beautiful and with a lot o place to visit such as the Cathedral, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio and the museum of Uffizi (http://www.firenzeturismo.it/);
– Siena (approx. 60 km .. 1 hour by car): really very beautiful with is Cathedral and with Piazza del Campo the most beautiful square where every year (twice per year) takes place the “Palio” a famous horse race.
– All the Chianti Area, the countryside around Siena, where it is really beautifull also going around with the car and where You can visit beautiful place such as Radda in Chianti, Greve in Chianti,
– Montepulciano, very famous for the “Nobile” wine where there are several wineries to visit . I give You the address of a web site, in English (http://www.italyandwine.info/montepulciano.htm), where You can find a list of wineries in Montepulciano area and if interested chose what to visit.
– In Siena area we also recommend You to visit San Gimignano (http://www.sangimignano.com/) and Pienza (for his famous cheese).
For Umbria, some suggestions are:
– Perugia (http://turismo.comune.perugia.it/resources//Itinerari/GUIDA_Perugia_08_UK.pdf);
– Assisi which is the place where San Francis was borne: http://www.assisiweb.com/index_en.html
I give You also a link to a web site where some touristic itineraries are suggest for Umbria region: http://www.bellaumbria.net/en/itinerary/
I hope my suggestions could help You in organizing Your visit in Italy, I remain however at Your disposal for any other information You may need, do not hesitate to contact me.
In any case I will contact You few days before Your arrival in order to give You all latest information for reaching our apartment.
CAPPANNELLE Holidays Apartments Via Vecchia Aretina, 7 52029 Castiglion Fibocchi - Arezzo Italy Mobile Marusca +39 3490676780 Mobile Gianni + 39 3477911058 Web Site: www.cappannelle.it Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Enjoy your holiday in Tuscany - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -