Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 834: There's No Such Thing as Too Much...Pasta and Ceramics
By Palma from California, Fall 2005
Page 7 of 23: Saturday, September 10: Sinalunga (Amorosa)
We awoke with our Tuscan sun back! After our last lavish breakfast, we said goodbye to Lobrando and set off for the Amorosa with our van loaded to the max.
Our first stop was the small hilltown of Monteriggioni, a sweet, small walled village surrounded by olive groves. In 15 minutes, I bought postcards, took pictures, walked the piazza and found a small gioellaria down the street where I bought a lovely strawberry quartz pendant with jade and pearl dangles.
No one was ready for coffee, so we drove on 18K to our next stop of Asciano and found a busy cafe on the main street. We took an hour coffee/snack/bagno/shopping break. I found a pretty, small print of Toscana, but mostly enjoyed watching the people in the café (mostly locals) and sitting in the pretty piazza with beautiful potted trees. The town was getting ready for its own small Palio that night, and you could sense the excitement in the air. Jan found gold bracelets for all the kids, and we walked around while the jeweler engraved them “in five minutes”. Another hour later, we left Asciano. We drove through such beautiful countryside. Everything looked and smelled so fresh after yesterday’s rain, there were hundreds of shades of green. Every curve in the road was a new scene I want to stop and paint. The dew on the olive trees looked like liquid silver shining in the sun.
We drove 2K past Sinalunga and got our first glimpse of the cypress-lined driveway of the Amorosa. It is just what we hoped for and more. There is a large grassy piazza, a chapel, an enoteca (that used to be the stable), a lovely stone restaurant and an infinity pool with stunning view. Our suite is lovely with a huge bedroom with three large shuttered windows, a marble bath, and a nice blue/white sitting room overlooking a garden.
Immediately after checking in, I had an emotional moment of tears. Brad asked me what was wrong, but everything was perfect! There was the beauty of the setting, and I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. All the months of planning, choosing hotels and restaurants, saving money, coordinating details, and trying to keep everyone happy during the first few days; the anticipation of being in one of my favorite parts of Italy, and realizing we had five days here to relax and do the “easy” and familiar part of the itinerary from this picture perfect place got to me. Bella Toscana! I’m really here! So I stopped playing tour guide and just enjoyed being present in the moment.
We had a long, relaxing lunch. Brad had chicken lasagna and drank Rossa di Montalcino di Poggio Antico. I had a pecorino frittata with a Pinot Grigio di Saint Antimo. I took my coffee out to the courtyard. They have huge patio umbrellas anchored in large pots of rosemany and thousands of perfect pink geraniums cascading from the loggia. After a two-hour nap, I explored the grounds with my camera, and had a glass of wine in the Enoteca with Brad. We got ready for dinner, dressed up, and met Jan and Les in the Lounge. I had a glass of Prosecco, duck lasagna, beef stuffed with grapes and “mosto cotto” with a Tuscan Sauvignon Bianco. Brad had spinach gnocchi, the same beef and shared a bottle of Volpaia Chianti with Les. While the others had gelato, I took my cappucino outside and looked at the bright stars from the courtyard.
We were able to email from the lobby computer for guests, and then take a walk before bed. Jan and Les are going to hang out here all day tomorrow, so tonight I will dream of tomorrow’s adventure with Brad.
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