A week in the north; a week in Tuscany.... Woo Hoo!
So again I have been remiss these past few days but it is because we are either busy or enjoying some downtime in our lovely cottage in the Tuscan Hills. Today is Friday, I think and tomorrow we have to leave Tuscany. So here I catch up again.
On Wednesday we spent the day exploring. The plan was to drive to Sienna which we did. Along the way though we stopped at a little town that our waiter from dinner on Tuesday told us not to miss. Tuesday night on the way home from Firenze we ate at a very good restaurant close to our cottage. Always so good, He told us to stop at Monteriggioni- this is a castle town on a hill. This as well as the other walled or castle towns between Firenze and Siena were build to try to defend Siena from Firenze. I guess years ago Firenze was always trying to take over and conquer smaller Siena until they finally did. Poor Siena- anyway the town was so wonderful. Smaller than most with shops, of course, along the paths. There was a shop with knightly type things and a display of what it would have been like to defend, ramparts= which David went up to while Ellen went shoe shopping. Cute red little Italian flats= I bought. It is also the town where I took pictures of those cups and bowls that I posted on Facebook- So we spent some time there before moving onto Siena.
So Siena- what can I say- definitely I have fallen in love with another city here in Italy. Siena is smaller than Firenze of course but so many lovely areas to explore. I don't think we got to them all as we ended up spending over 2 hours just sitting in a cafe on the Piazza A Campo- A very large square- called a Meeting place. It was lovely just to sit, eat and drink and watch the square. This square is the one where they have a horse race every summer and later on in our visit we saw photos in a shop of the race. The Duomo in Siena is hugh and very detailed. Unfortunately it was too late to go in but the outside was still pretty amazing. We will have to return to explore this city much more another time when we return to Italy. We did pick up some light food for later on but since it had been late and we ate so much we didn't even need this food for dinner.
On Thursday we had decided to take it easy and stay local and also go last night to the restaurant down the hill, sort of connected with our cottage. So we started the morning out very late- as usual. We just can't seem to get up in the morning. We had our food bought the night before in Siena for breakfast outside under our gazebo. Salami, sheep cheese, baguette, and David made coffee for the first time in the press. Very impressive. We have been drinking way too much coffee and wine. When I go home it will have to cut down. Each night if we are out we go through a bottle of wine- it is just the way here. After a leisurely breakfast we headed out.
We drove to Montelupo- not very far away but we went there because it is the ceramics center of Italy. There is a ceramics museum there and since I am very interested in ceramics it seemed fitting. The museum was very good, lots of old pots excavated. The town again is walled with winding streets and many ceramics shops. Unfortunately, we were not there at the right time. In the smaller towns they take at least a 2 hour break in the middle of the day so only a few were open. However, we did meet with an artist who does hand building and saw his shop. Also, several in another shop that paint the pots. We spent time in another with the son of the main potter from the shop. This potter does very large pieces- all thrown- but we were unable to watch since he was not there. I think that sometimes the potters work and can be observed but it was not too be yesterday. Later we came home, relaxed, read and just tooled around until dinner at Casa di Cacia- see other post for the pictures of the meal.
Today, we are hanging out and then plan to go into Firenze for our last night before leaving for Switzerland in the morning. Until later....