Tuscany 2019- Trip Report Day One

November22

The four of us met up at the airport in plenty of time for a flight to Toronto. The four being D and I and our good friends D2 and J3. We enjoyed a leisurely wait for our flight.

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That evening we took pleasure in having dinner together at the Ipad Cafe in Toronto. Egads the prices were stupid for beer and wine! Our wait in TO was quite lengthy but we weren’t taking any chances on anyone missing a flight as had occurred the prior year when we had hoped to travel to Portugal together.

I must have slept on the way over because I put my ear plugs in, covered my face with a mask and took a sleeping pill. I willed myself to sleep and I was conscious of being in a dream-like space but not sure how long it lasted. I was woken rather abruptly to the flight crew delivering our “breakfast”- a piece of spice cake in a cello wrapper.

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The wait for our luggage, car, etc. was not bad at all especially when compared to the hours we spent on our first sojourn to Tuscany. We stopped for the drivers to pick up espressos to make the 3 1/2 hour drive ahead. Unfortunately, we did have some trouble fitting all our luggage into an upgraded rent-a-car. As a result D2 and I drove the miles to Sienna from Milan with a piece of luggage between us in the back seat.

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In truth it wasn’t so bad. I was able to make a safe cradle for the little bottle of airplane wine that we shared en route.

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About halfway there we stopped to pick up some lunch. The place right on an overpass of the highway was called Eataly Bologna Ambasciatori! I had no idea that it was the same concept as Chicago, New York and most recently Toronto.

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D and I shared a couple of delicious flat-breads the one above exploding with prosciutto.

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As we drove closer to Sienna the landscape became more beautiful. There came a time as the sun started its descent that I spied “God” clouds out the window and then when I caught sight of

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this heart lying on its side in the sky I knew our trip would be blessed. And is was.

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By the time we arrived at our Air BnB it was dark out. We met our host in one of the little towns close to his home. Marco was so gracious that we immediately felt that it was our home, if only for a week. He told us the tale of the house as he showed us around.

The house was built in 1769 making it the 3rd oldest private home in Sienna.

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Our modern kitchen was built where the pigs were kept, actually we think what Marco was trying to tell us was that white bearded boars lived there. Marco explained that the ancient house which is now attached to the barn underground was the home of the “watchman” who tipped off the Ghibelline troupes in the story below.

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Perhaps he was pulling my leg but he said that the watchman’s bed was still in the house today!

The name Costaberci, in Sienese, is composed of two very distinct words, “costa”, meaning costa, collina and “berci”, or screams.

 This singular name derives from the historic battle of Montaperti in 1260 which saw the Ghibelline troops clashing, led by Siena, against the Guelph troops, headed by Florence. During the Battle of Montaperti, from that “coast”, the peasants “traded” to the inhabitants of Montaperti announcing to them the arrival of the Guelph troops; and it is precisely at that historical event that the name “Costaberci”, hill of screams, is due.

The Costaberci farm, built in 1902, stands near the Napoleonic column at the intersection of the roads that unite Siena, Asciano and Montaperti, or the three routes that lead to the Crete Senesi, the Chianti and the city of the Palio, Siena, which is only 5 Km.

The farm is surrounded by nature, surrounded by a fertile countryside that faces south on the Crete Senesi cultivated with fields of cereals, sunflowers and wheat;  to the north-east we can see instead the green color of the vineyards and the olive trees, then there is also a luxuriant fauna as a completion of a typically Tuscan frame.To the west, on beautiful sunny and clear days, the marvelous and historic Torre del Mangia can be admired in the hills.

I am going to have to continue in a second blog post, stay tuned.

Kath’s quote: There is an unspoken bond you create with the friends you travel with.” – Kristen Sarah

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Love never fails.

 

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