• Italy 1: Villa in Tuscany

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Here I am sitting with the late afternoon sun warming my back, the smell of rosemary is being carried with the breeze, and my view is panoramic rolling country hills of fields and olive groves. Nothing inhibits my views and smells of the crisp countryside of Tuscany Italy!

    I will now back track to so I can start at the first of our trip…. Leaving Nigeria!The timing of leaving could not have come at a more needed time. The power problems we had been living with only got worse as the last generators failed and we were completely powerless! No water, cool air, lights, fridge, phone, Internet, pool, NOTHING! It was awful. The only good thing that happened last week was that my sister Katherine and Josh had their sweet baby boy Memphis Nash Clark! He is one perfect looking baby. Auntie and Uncle love you dear Memphis, thank you for coming into the world! I can only hold and kiss you in my dreams, but wait ‘til spring!

    Other then that our week inched much to slowly by. When the bus was finally coming to fetch us from the compound I had a tear of relief…. It was time for me to see the ‘outside’ world! The bus was un-adventful, it took three hours to get through Friday afternoon traffic but alas we were at the airport. Our flight to the Netherlands went well except for the fact that Davina never slept; it was even a red eye flight, oh well. I got a great cuddle time with her as she was tired enough to be calm. We then had a four-hour wait in the wonderful Amsterdam airport. I got a taste of my roots; both sets of my grandparent are from the Netherlands. It was wonderful just looking through all the boutiques seeing familiar foods and hearing the language, it made me wish my parents had taught me Dutch. But seeing as it was my parent’s secret language among their broad of eleven children, fitting not to pass it on to us. Hearing the language and seeing the food made me homesick for my grandparents and Sunday lunches and made me very excited to return next year. I found this wonderful little shop tucked away in a corner of the airport that sold the most adorable ‘Dutch’ style knitted hats and gloves. I got my little sisters each a set suited to their character. I can imagine them now with their knitted hats and gloves with LaCache dresses romping through the winter whiteness. Await them in the mail my sweet little dutchlings.

    Then the marvel really started to happen…the country of Italy! Every inch that we drove into the countryside was a gasp of delight from me. Roger, I do not know how he does it, but can find exactly what I am dreaming of. The Villa he found here in Tuscany is so enchanting. Arched wooden doors and windows, beamed roof, ivy climbing the outside brick walls, views of the farm valley surrounds us, huge antique wardrobes, a swing hanging from a majestic oak tree over looking the valley! Roger thank you my prince for capturing my dreams and letting me live in them this week! This morning I woke to birds singing in the tree outside my window, the wrestling of the leaves, and the sun. I asked Roger to open the curtain so I could lie and watch this beautiful maple tree in full fall beauty dance for me, with Tuscany countryside as its backdrop!

    Marion and Davina have been romping around the farm since arrival. I can hear Marion singing the whole time. She is as delighted as I to be in the country. And I am glad to have the chance for them to drink in the fresh air.

    This morning we took a windy country road to a city on a hill called Pienza. I have never experienced any thing quite this old. The amazing thing is that it is still a functional city with people and little shops. It is like walking into a set of a movie. Italians must all be artistic as everything is pictures from the farms to the wash hanging on the line. One thing I have noticed is that plastic is not to be found. Which I love! I have an all over hate for the look of plastic. It is so refreshing to see wooden or glass or metal used for every object. And it gives so much character! There is ‘scope for the imagination’ at every moment and I am certainly drinking it in! We had a wonderful lunch at a little restaurant. I am amazed at the tastes of the food everything is grown and made right here in Tuscany so the fresh taste is amazing! For all those who asked about staying eating raw while in Italy I have to say yes, but for the capichino and the amazing tasting wine (small glass) I had. But it was well worth it for the tastes were nothing like you would find in North America!

    The sun is setting with flare and the Cypress trees are casting shadows on the horizon, Roger and Davina are swinging on the ‘weeeee’ as Davina says, Marion is picking flowers and the red and orange leaves are falling around me. This perfect day is ending, with sadness I say good-bye and with great anticipation I await tomorrow!

    Val D'Orcia. Location of our villa.

    A maple tree out our bedroom window! We got to see red maple leafs this fall after all!

    Davina's weeee!

    The beautiful Pienza, crafted by Pope Pius II to be the "ideal" renaissance town.

    Cathedral in Pienza.

    Street in Montepulciano. This was actually our favourite hill-town. We will post more pictures of this town later and you will see why!

    Square in Montechielo. (We visited Montepuliciano, Montalcino, and Montechielo...basicaly any town with a "Mont" in front of it is gorgeous).

    Every town square has a well.

    First castle!

    Still standing...800 years later.