This is day three back from my trip to Tuscany. I went with my brother Joe and a group of David Whyte poetry fans. Not only was the countryside incredibly serene and inspiring, but so were the daily sessions listening to the poet. You can Goggle him to learn more.
This was my first trip to Italy and hopefully, not the last. The place is a paradise of hospitality. We stayed in an ancient farmhouse dating back to 1427 that has been converted to a hotel. It's located 15 kilometers south of Florence. No two rooms are alike. They are simple and elegant, with tile floors and antique furniture. The suites have kitchens that come equipped with Italian coffee and Espresso makers. The grounds are high on hill and hiking to the small town near the bottom provided for exhilarating views, woody scents and huge breaths of clean pure air. We had perfect weather with several chances to don an umbrella while carousing the small shops in the skinny streets of Florence and Volterra.
The Italians eat good food. They eat only seasonal vegetables and many raise they own pigs and goats for meat and cheese. At one Ristorante, our group devoured the ensalde so quickly that the owner had to go out to the garden. He brought back two large cabbages, then shredded and tossed them in his delicious green home grown olive oil. Imagine how great it tasted with a slice of ricotta cheese and a glass of Chianti made from grapes in the nearby vineyard.
Charming! This is the word that sums up my experience of Tuscany. I will be digesting the trip for months to come. I love my Tuscan napkins and have already tried a few recipes from my new cookbook that was a gift from the author who was one of our guides. Check back to my blog in the days to come and I'll post a few of my favorites.
Now, back to my espresso.