Okay, even as I’ve nagged the rest of the family to post to our blog, I’ve been laggardly… Over a week since my last note and we’ve seen so much since Venice!
I could blame it on slow wifi. (I won’t even try to post a photo, given the snail-like upload speed here.) But mostly it’s because we’ve been on “Tuscan time” — first in our “barn” stay in the hills outside of Montegonzi, on the edge of the Chianti region, and now, for the past four nights, on the lush and spectacular Island of Elba.
Sure, we’ve done things, I suppose. We did a cooking class, a small hike, and a day trip to Siena while in Montegonzi. We’ve chased fish in the Mediterranean, explored Marciana Marina and the ridge top town of Marciana, and checked out the seaport shops (and one very good restaurant) in Porto Azzurro.
Mostly, though, we’ve let simply basked in the warm, unhurried, autumnal vibe of Tuscany. The weather has been perfect. A threatened thunderstorm yesterday never appeared. Dark clouds have shuttled past occasionally and always revealed glorious sunsets over the western ridges and hills of both Montegonzi and Porto Azzurro. We have slept in, eaten well, walked and walked, watched an excellent documentary on Netflix about the centuries-old Palio horse race to help us better understand Siena, learned how to make and to savour Italian cuisine (pasta, pesto, zucchini squares, turkey breast and the best tiramisu of my life) in a olive farm in Chianti, and simply enjoyed the leisurely pace of life in this corner of the world .
We have felt the sun on our backs as we floated in the sea. We have sat outside on the stone patio in Montegonzi (with the AirBnB host’s three dogs and one outdoor cat) and balcony in Porto Azzurro and read or just closed our eyes and listened to the breeze. (Actually, right now we are listening to one of our neighbours tune his Vespa — that’s definitely part of the soundscape of Elba!)
Alas, we leave tomorrow… for three nights (our last in Italy) in Cinque Terre. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to return to see more of Tuscany, to enjoy more time in a place that truly knows how best to spend —and bend and extend —time. Another time, I guess.