Tuscany- Here We Come

April8

D and I have a mutual bucket list of places in the world that we dream to visit. We are slowly checking off the most amazing places on earth: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Amman, Rome, Paris, Nice, Monaco, Athens, London, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle and Washington, DC along with so many wonderful Canadian cities. Although we imagined that Portugal or Czech Republic would be next on our list, the history, art, beauty, romance and FOOD of Italy is calling us to return.

On my first sojourn to Italy, I threw my coins in the Fountain of Trevi with the hope that some way, somehow, I would return. In celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary, D and I stayed with good friends in Sicily and then took the train up the west coast of Italy hugging the Mediterranean, the entire length of the boot. We had an absolutely perfect trip (except for losing a bag at a train station) and never dreamed that we would have the opportunity to return.

D longs to visit Rome again and see the many sights that he missed during his whirlwind first visit. And although we have seen Viareggio and the other coastal towns of Tuscany, from a moving train, we have never set foot in Tuscany. Now an opportunity has presented itself that seems at first glance almost too good to be true. With perseverance and hard work, we will be able to make it happen. So this fall, we will be off to Montalcino, Tuscany as our base and then tour Pienza, Castellina in Chianti, Seggiano and Siena.

We’ll take photography and writing lessons, and be tutored by a private chef (who also owns the estate where we will stay). There are even plans to go truffle hunting. I only learned what a truffle was five years ago and now I get to forage in the woods of Tuscany for them! My life is rich. We are truly blessed and good things just keep happening to us.

I know that simplicity is central to Tuscan cuisine. Legumes, bread, cheese, vegetables, mushrooms, fresh fruit, olive oil and white truffles are key elements and the focus is on the high quality of the ingredients more than the complexity of the preparations. And then of course there is the Chianti! As soon as we knew that we were both going to be able to take on this adventure, D started researching Tuscan wines and discovered Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, so samplings of these will commence immediately in our home.

Readers of this space know that I love the anticipation of a trip almost as much as the time itself.  I am going to get out my history of art books and dive into the Renaissance. I will practice hiking up hills (a tough feat on the prairies). I am going to reread my favourite stories of Tuscany Under the Tuscan Sun, Too Much Tuscan Sun, A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure and The Hills of Tuscany.  I will finally rent A Room with a View. Tuscany, here we come.

Kath’s quote: “Life is good-life is fine. Life is tremendous, all the time“. Source Unknown

Love-that is all.
 

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