I woke this morning to the sun shining through the arch shaped windows overlooking the Tuscan countryside and pinched myself. Yes it was real, I was actually here, in Tuscany! You have heard about my romantic ideas of afternoon tea in England and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, well…. I read Eat, Prey, Love too, and have watched several romantic movies set in Italy. Tuscany has been on my bucket list for a long time. Finally, I was in Italy, sitting beside the wood burning oven, listening to the wind blow through the olive trees. I can’t believe I just wrote that!
|Our magnificent view.|
We are staying in a villa on an olive farm. They are just coming to the end of the olive harvest. As I sit here typing, our hosts are out picking in the fields. We hope to join them later in the week. It is not everyday that one gets to go olive picking! Fabio told us that they have fresh pressed olive oil, the colour of the green walls decorating the kitchen. I can’t wait to try it; we picked up some fresh bread in anticipation.
I exercise to eat… so after the cookie, chocolate and cheese factories in Switzerland, and now Italy… it meant running everyday – a lot! Especially if I was going to be dipping bread in pure calories! The time seemed to tick past quickly when running in the hills of Tuscany. The wind was blowing, the sun was shining, and the farmers were out working in the fields. The vegetation was unlike anything I had ever seen. Foilage lined the dirt road with various coloured berries, and acorn trees were abundant. Right outside the door of the villa is a pomegranate, almond, and of course, many many olive trees. There are gates and fences around the properties here, even in the country. We have to ensure we close ours so the wild boars don’t get in and make a mess of the garden. Again, I can’t believe I’m writing this stuff! Thankfully the gate was closed today as it headed off a herd of cattle that had escaped, only to send them back up the lane to meet Ally returning from her run. I’ve never seen a more surprised Ally.
Lunch included lupini beans (which my friend Miss Rosanna introduced me to), left over Gruyere cheese from Switzerland, fresh grapes and crackers. One can’t complain about that, especially after enjoying Nutella for breakfast, thus the need to run! Oh well, we are in Italy after all! We enjoyed delicious homemade pizza that Ally treated us to last night, as part of her French studies. While shopping for groceries, the girls couldn’t get over the rows and isles devoted to pasta. We have a fairly extensive selection at home, but nothing like here in Italy. Amazing. Later in the week we will head into the local market for more goodies to enjoy.
Right now we hate to leave our cozy little villa, so we will spend some time getting caught up on school work, writing and enjoying the countryside. Throughout the week we will venture into Florence, Pisa and Siena. I’m sure we will add many more delicious meals and treats to our adventures here in Italy, after all, we have only had gelato three times – not nearly enough! Until then…I’ll keep running.
|Our outdoor classroom!|
|We put on a little concert for Fabio, Sarah, Zoe and Jack. The girls danced and the|
pipes sounded beautiful in the hills.