Simone's Kitchen

A week in Tuscany

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I am not really keeping a chronological order when telling you of our Italian adventures but I am sure no one will mind. We are at the moment still in Ca’Penelope, but will be leaving tomorrow. The weather is still not really fantastic but at least today has been a little drier then the last two days, so we actually got to see something outside rather then inside. But because of the weather I do have the change to write a little bit about our adventures sofar and bore you with more pictures of fabulous food and beautiful surroundings.

As you know we traveled from Alba to the coast where we visited the Cinque Terre and stayed in a coastal town called Levanto. I have to say that we all thought that Levanto was rather disappointing, but it was conveniently located so we could visit the places we wanted to go to easily. And since we were so close to the Cinque Terre, that was high on our list of places to go to… However; maybe because we had heard so much about it, or maybe it is just far too crowded with tourists…we found the Cinque Terre disappointing. Sure the surrounding area is beautiful and when you hike along the coastal path, some of the views are indeed breathtaking (see photo above on the right), but the groups of tourists (busloads full) are just far, far too many. And we are not even visiting in the high season, so I can only imagine the drama it will be in July or August! And I guess not all things are for all people. It became quickly evident that our preference lies in the smaller towns and the more personal approach of little places.

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We stayed for a week in Tuscany itself in a tiny little village called Macie, which is close to Cavriglia (also not big) and very well located between Florence, Siena and the Chianti route. Our bed & breakfast was called Amoliv and unfortunately this did not live up to our expectations. It started with receiving a text message while we were already travelling that the appartment we booked for a week was not available, but she had a “beautiful appartment for us as an alternative. But then when we arrived the woman in charge had – by mistake – given that to someone else already, so we were rushed into our car to basically chase the other people out of ‘our’ house… I guess it was a combination of things with which I will not bore you, but if she had only handled it differently we would have felt completely different too. The house was big but just barely finished with piping still coming out of the walls. I mean; don’t get me wrong; we had a great week, but that was not in any way due to our hostess!

Tuscany itself was fabulous and the whole area is gorgeous. I had heard so much about it that I was afraid it would be a let-down but it wasn’t at all. The only thing maybe that we did not like as much as we had expected was Florence itself. Sure it is a beautiful city, but again; very very busy and loads of tourists. To be fair; it was pouring rain on the day we visited Florence and that certainly did not help our opinion of the city, but we had expected a little bit more then what we got. (Although the market was great in Florence!!)

San Gimignano is also very touristis but we loved that place and the medieval centre of town. Ah well so much has happened that I cannot possible tell you all…. I will write a little more about Tuscany in my next post about Siena and Pienza… 🙂 But first a few shots of the market in Florence.toscane3

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