Tuscany is extraordinarily beautiful. My days there felt truly happy and almost magical. Of course, the sunshine and the excellent food, wine, coffee, gelato and tiramisu helped too. So here are some snapshots of how I spent last week, and I have to say that it feels like a huge downgrade being back in cold, drizzly London eating cereal for dinner.
Exploring one of the many villas of the Medici, one of the most powerful families of Florence with a fascinating history. Looking at the portraits of the many unhappy marriages of this family inside the house. Taking a stroll in the garden, along the rows of cypress trees, taking in the view of the village and the hills below.
Getting lost in the narrow streets of Siena, walking in the shade of the medieval houses with flowers on the window sill. Imagining how Piazza del Campo looks during the Palio, the famous horse race with the crowds and the flags and the horses that don’t stop until they are well out of the city.
Trying to count the medieval towers in the most charming village of San Gimignano, a place that feels unchanged since the middle ages. Having a delicious lunch, naturally followed by gelato, at the lovely piazza with the ancient well in the middle. Staring, awestruck, at the beautiful Duomo of Florence. Taking a big breath and climbing the 460 odd steps to the top of the dome for a view of the whole city.
Buying fresh supplies at the Mercato Centrale of Florence and then taking a bus to Fiesole for a perfect picnic on the hills where Leonardo used to test his flying machines. From there, walking for 10 or so kilometers by the medieval tower at Vincigliata to end up back in Florence, tanned, tired and very very happy.
Do you have any favourite memories from places you’ve visited?