Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Here's a wee list of what I liked about Tuscany/Italy. Although I couldn't swap these big blue skies for there, something about hills and walled towns and narrow streets makes me feel hemmed in. I couldn't believe how open the sky felt here when I got back home. The pix in this grid are just quick JPEG snaps, it's too much hassle to try and do fancy stuff in crowded spots.

I liked:

where we stayed, it was very peaceful valley and I got up at sunrise most days and watched the light paint the vines and the olive groves.

(Also saw deer with fawns in tow and a solitary fox. I explored the woods and saw wild cyclamen growing under the trees and there were lots of scattered walnut trees,and pomegranates and even what I took yo be a wild pear, which had tiny little bullet sized fruit on it.)

Sienna, the cathedral is layered black and white marble and the floors are inlaid with the same materials, the origin of the word "graffiti" comes from black marble inlaid in white.

the road repair men's "portaloos" ( bit like thse ghastly wheelie bin covers you get here that make the bin look like it's covered in plastic ivy) which had great Italian artists' paintings covering them, one was covered in the Mona Lisa, my husband said that's for when you do an enigmatic shite!

the wee pizza place where they gave us kitchen scissors with great solemnity and we realised it was to cut our pizzas into slices.

the Amarretto liqueur, especially on great ice cream.

dining on a terrace up in the hills and watching the sunset behind Pienza.

the geology, the ground is full of fossil shells,as the seabed was forced up millions of years ago to form the Tuscan hills. The area is the origin of the formal study of geology. Ovid wrote about it pre Christ:

Ovid 43 BC – AD17

From “Metamorphoses”

“Vidi ego, quod fuerat quondam solidissima tellus,
esse fretum, vidi factas ex aequore terras, et procul a
pelago conchae iacuere marinae, et vetus inventa est in
montibus ancora summis.”

(“I have myself seen what was once most solid ground
disappear into the sea, and have heard of land risen out of
the sea; marine shells lay far from the sea, and an ancient
anchor rested on top of a mountain.”)


Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Oh... sigh... to be in Tuscany... You know what I liked best was the light - as someone said to me later, it has a healing quality. I felt at peace there, the place made my soul sing. So now I have this little dream of a villa in Tuscany, or maybe Umbria... Sigh...

1:12 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Well you have sold me - even without the photos. Must be a magical time to go. Hubby is a card! Just had an e-mail from my sister in the States to say she has at last sold her house on the Hudson and plans to buy an apartment as her sole home in Italy - aged 80 this month and widowed. It will have to be in a less popular (price wise) place than Tuscany. I can't decide whether she is just very brave or completely bonkers.

5:10 pm  
Blogger f:lux said...

It's interesting what you say about the skies - but what better way to appreciate your own than to go away? And welcome back!

9:03 pm  
Blogger savannah said...

welcome back, sugar! what a lovely holiday. we've been trying to get there for a few years now, but something always seems to get in the way...i think i have to work on this a bit more...

1:29 am  
Blogger Verilion said...

Come on , you've got to post a picture of the portaloos.

8:50 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

I was in Umbria in May.
We stayed in an isolated house; it was magic.
I share your delight in this wonderful land!

11:12 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks all. Vanilla the light does have a lovely quality,but I live with such wonderful light here that I'm spoiled for other places.

V -I wish i had taken a picture, too busy navigating the Pisa/Florence Superstada!

Hi S how are you doing?

Jan we crossed into Umbria on one journey to a lake which was a bit disaapointimg as every spot of land was owned by camping sites.

11:34 am  
Blogger Cailleach said...

Some day I will go there - it sounds wonderfully relaxing and calming... think I could do with that now :)

8:47 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

Absolutely delicious; I read it all twice, including the Latin, to better savour the flavour. I love the way you've done the photos too.

7:26 pm  

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