Tuscany – Day 11

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.

First view. Photo by Kayla.

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.

View through the window. Photo by Kayla.

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.

Another view. Photo by j a-b.
The third view. Photo by BW.

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.

Peaceful landscape…but then…. Photo by Kat.
Fleeing the master mower. Photo by Kat.
Racing while mowing. Photo by Kat.

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!

Rosa glauca. Photo by Kat.
Bougainvillea. Photo by Kat.
Plumbago. Photo by Kat.
Potted plumbago. Photo by Nora.
Linanthus? Sun rose? Big ass poppies? Command center can’t decide. Photo by Kat.

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.

Boys on a terrace. Photo by Nora.

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.

The first of many sunsets over the patio. Photo by Nora.

And a sunset! Gorgeous!

A little game time for Jason and Kayla, with Griffin selecting the competition.


Winding down. Photo by BW.

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

Happy Boy. Photo by Kat.

10 thoughts on “Tuscany – Day 11”

  1. The sound is most likely the mating call of a fox. Sounds like a crying baby or cat. You hear them in Maryland too!

  2. A lovely change of pace! Gorgeous views and a pretty location. One day … *happy sigh*. Enjoy your time there! 😊

  3. Florence was very nice, but this spot is heavenly. Ahhh…. Can’t wait to see more. 🙂

  4. Fun fact in case anybody doesn’t know this: iPhone has a new plant ID function within Photos. Swipe up on a photo of a plant and it’ll have a little “Look Up” thing, tap on that and it’ll give you an identification. It’s been extremely useful in our lawn re-wilding project! I bet any native plants you’re unfamiliar with in the countryside will pop right up!!

    1. I use Google Lens for that too — it’s very helpful as I’m captioning photos in Maryland, not taking them in Tuscany. For that one photo, there were so many textures, I kept zooming to different places and got different names each time. Hence the caption.


      1. Laura, my app says it’s Nemesia strumosa or Lionfaces. Hard to tell. I often think my app makes wild guesses. Great photos! Looks like a gem of a place to relax.

  5. How lovely! Such a beautiful area, lots of flowers and different vistas. A perfect spot to create, relax and enjoy family time!

    I loved today’s narrative. Maybe I was reading into the words too much but when I read, I thought: and here is Nora’s happy place – quiet, views, flowers, and a sense of home surrounded by family.

    I look forward to reading about the coming days. Enjoy!

  6. What a beautiful new location. Can’t wait to hear about your future exploring days😊😊

  7. The bougainvillea is stunning; the other flowers are beautiful. The villa sounds perfect, and Griffin has an actual law for his mower!

    Thank you for sharing another day of your travels. Seems the toe is healing very well.

  8. I have been reading about the trip since the beginning, but I have been too lazy to figure out my password so that I may comment. I had to figure it out today Florence was very nice, but Tuscany is absolutely beautiful.

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