Tag Archives: food

Italy travelogue, part XVIII

Pilates, I discover, is more challenging to do on soft, cushy,  bumpy grass than yoga. But I got it done. As our Kat is under the weather today,  the gang just hangs out.
The lemon and garlic infusion tea Lucia made seemed to help–as did  a solid day of rest.
I got a nice chunk of writing done, despite the distraction of the  view. Also saw people working in the vineyard today–and the big, odd tractor  that goes over the rows. I’ve yet to see any of the deer or wild boars that  we’re told wander hereabouts–but I’m hoping I will.
Lucia makes us an amazing salad to leave for our lunch–as we have  leftovers–and picks it all straight out of the garden. That fresh, fresh  lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers. I try some of the red pepper olive oil on  mine–a good and delicious bite.
Read, wander, take a nap(!) Naps are so out of my routine I wake up  thinking it’s morning. Nice that it was only afternoon, and there’s more time to  plop down in the shade and read some more–and now with a glass of wine. 
Before I know it, it’s time for another amazing sunset. Tonight as  there are more clouds (rain’s coming) it’s even more spectacular. The  overlayment of clouds is burnished gold above the red ball of the sinking sun,  and the horizon is brilliantly layers in pink and red streaks. The light gets  softer, softer, the colors more intense and luminous. Then the sun sets but  leaves what looks lake a simmering fire over the peak of the distant hill. It  just holds there, and holds, keeping the big cloud over it all shimmering gold  on its underbelly.
On the other side of the sky, the moon’s nearly full. As it rises,  it hazes with the clouds that may bring a storm tonight.
Then it’s time for dinner. God, I’m so spoiled now, I want  Antoinella to come live with me, and cook every day. Potato and carrot soup with  sage, then a pasta, then meatballs and chicory right out of the garden. Followed  by some amazing sort of whipped cream with chunks of chocolate.
I can’t eat all of any of it, but that’s not the cook’s fault. It’s  all just wonderful. And the wine we had tonight is made from grapes we can see  just down from the front of the villa.
We secure everything that’s under the awning, in case we get that  storm. If I had the energy–and it wasn’t totally, country dark, I’d go out and  walk a few miles just to work off that meal.
Must do a serious work-out in the morning!
But tonight, it’s relaxing with the sound of busy cicadas, and  nothing else.

Italy travelogue, part XVI

We watched the sun set, gloriously, over the western hills. A ball  of red that spread streaks and smears of color as it dropped away. The light  goes very soft. Our three ladies are here to prepare dinner and see we’re well  taken care of. There’s bread and cheese and thin slices of cold-cut meat. I  could’ve made a meal of that alone. But there are wonderful scents wafting  through the big kitchen.
They’ve picked tomatoes fresh from the vine, served them in big  chunks with basil just as fresh.
We’re eating on the patio at the big wood table with the hills all  around.
Fresh pasta, cooked to perfection set off with a lovely Chianti.  Night lowers–the moon rose on one side of the sky as the sun set on the other  and all the hills go into silhouettes.
Now there’s strips of steak–sauted, I think, in oil and balsamic,  with thin slices of grilled eggplant, roasted peppers. It’s gorgeous, but I  can’t do justice to it after all the rest. We’ll have marvelous left-overs. To  finish it off, a fruit parfait, a kind of almost melted ice cream, but richer,  with chunks of fresh fruit.
I don’t think you can get more relaxed. If there’s tension left  after a few hours in Tuscany with beautiful food, wine, and scenery, you need  serious help!
A good night’s sleep in our pretty room, and I wake up to that  vivid sunshine over hills of green and gold. Different from my deep summer green  woods at home, or the drenched shining green of the Irish hills I love. This is  intense and stunningly baked. From my window here, I see olive and cypress  trees, and the vineyard just across the little dirt road. Then the rise of  hills, the shadows of mountains.
There’s a cluster of brown stone buildings topping a high  forested rise. Asia said it was an abandoned village, and someone bought it. He  built a hotel and cafe. It must have awesome views.
From this window, I can see about a half a dozen houses scattered,  and all look as if they might have grown there. From the other window, I see the  front garden, and one house on a distant hill.
It’s a very fine place to be after a bustling week in  Florence.
I may do my yoga outside in the sun.
PS. Here are some of BW’s photos from the Pitti Palace
Photos by Bruce WIlder
Photos by Bruce WIlder