We leave the bustle and color of Florence—Kayla and I with the mountain range of luggage, the others to the car rental—and head to the hills and valleys, the vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany.
Salvatore not only helps haul and load the luggage, but keeps the drive smooth across the Arno and into the countryside. We’ll be early, and our villa not ready for us, but we’ve arranged to meet the rental manager, hang around outside until housekeeping’s done.
Here the land changes, going steep and windy, the narrow road snaking and climbing through pretty villages, the vineyards and hills. Deep greens and dusty ones, splashes of color from flowers. Sun-washed houses with their red tile roofs climbing up the hills.
The narrow road narrows more, winds more, climbs more. Salvatore tells us he’s not sure he’s been to this villa before, but just put ourselves in his hands. So we do.
And here it is, sitting on its hilltop overlooking hills and valleys. What was once a watchtower, became a home, became a larger home. Sturdy old stone, some smothered in purple bougainvillea, covered brick patios with breathless views. We unload onto the long dining table on the front patio, bid goodbye to Salvatore, and AnnaGloria gives us a tour of the house—two buildings joined by a glass breezeway.
Lots of family living spaces to choose from, and Kayla immediately picks a bedroom in the first section with a beautiful view and lovely windows.
Across the breezeway into the old watchtower and we have more hang out spaces, more gorgeous views, a bedroom on the first level, then up, up the stairs—second and third floor masters to choose from.
I leave this to Kat when she arrives, but think the third for her and Jason—the second steps out on a landing, with steps down, and I wonder about Griffin in the night. Plus the third floor has a huge, gorgeous stone tub, and Kat loves a nice, long bath.
We get many instructions from AnnaGloria on how things work before she leaves us. The rest of us are on their way—we need two cars for any serious touring as they’ll be smaller cars and there are six of us.
And here they come just in time to help haul the luggage in—and up! God bless Jason.
We unpack. Griffin loves a new space and explores it with his trusty lawnmower. Inside, outside, around and about. Any worries I had about the pool here are dispelled as it’s gated off. So is the road, so he’ll be safe.
Kayla changes to lounge by the pool, and I explore a bit more. A HUGE rosemary bush, more flowers, small-headed hydrangeas. Griffin and I have our first race in a week!
There’s a lovely rear patio, too, just outside glass doors, and that’s the spot to unwind before the welcome dinner prepared by Bianca.
We eat on the covered terrace, enjoy the local wine with Tuscany spread out.
It’s all just lovely.
It’s so quiet, especially after our time in the city. Just quiet and space and lovely air.
And a sunset! Gorgeous!
A little game time for Jason and Kayla, with Griffin selecting the competition.
Somewhere in the night an animal calls. I thought at first it was Griffin—and discussing with BW just now, so did he. I have no idea—maybe a fox—but it was close, and for a brief time insistent.
This morning, the views remain stunning, and birds call. One of them sounded a little pissed off.
I think I’ll work out outside this morning, and maybe set up right here at the long table on the terrace later to start playing with my book-see where that goes.
It’s lovely to be here.
And Griffin thinks so too. ~L