Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

Where have…

Leave a comment

Where have you been? Sorry, blog, traveling again, but with weak access to the internet, so my plans to blog were scuttled when the iPad wouldn’t save and I only managed a few flics on Facebook the whole time.

We went to Italy (not a big surprise) and for eight days we were in an agriturismo in the Chianti region of Tuscany near Florence. After that we took the train to Venice and stayed for two weeks in an Untours apartment. This was the general outline…

The People…

IMG_0358

From the left: Marcie (also known as Marcella when in Italy), I have known since our thirty-year-old sons were in third grade. Around ten years ago she left Northern California and moved to Florence. She now lives in Toronto, but she still has masses of friends in Italy and she was the spark behind the first eight days of the trip. Next to her is Carol who has been on the same shift at the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital with Terry for years and years. (Carol’s husband is not retired, yet, so he did not join us.) Giovanni who owns the agriturismo where we stayed, (also, he drove the van). Bill and M’Liss are on the far side of the table. M’Liss I have known since the thirty-year-olds were three and we were in a baby-sitting co-op together.

IMG_0357

Giovanni by the van (maybe the greatest host ever!)

IMG_0058 IMG_0456 IMG_0457 IMG_0507 IMG_1091 IMG_1098

The agriturismo had skies like you wouldn’t believe and we were supplied with olive oil and wine from the fields surrounding our farmhouse.

IMG_1390 IMG_1393 IMG_1394

Nobody actually went in the pool. (No time, we were off seeing the sights!)

The places…

First morning (we got there on Monday and our first full day was Tuesday)…some went horseback riding at the Vecchio Texas Horseranch in the direction of Sting’s property and vineyards. (If you pay Sting enough money you can harvest his grapes for him!) The rest of us went to the market in Figline.

IMG_0314 IMG_0324 IMG_0333 IMG_0352 IMG_0353 Yes, that is a pig’s head…

That afternoon, (after a great lunch that included pici pasta (long and thick) and cinghiale ragu over tagliarini) we headed to the Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm. Three hundred goats are guarded against wolves by twelve Pyrenees-like dogs.)

IMG_0362IMG_0359IMG_0361

IMG_0391 IMG_0393

Great sky there, too…and then a quick stop in a lovely little town called Radda in Chianti.

IMG_0424

IMG_0422

Then on Wednesday, there was wine tasting in Panzano and a cooking class in Greve.

IMG_0475IMG_0506

Oh, yes, there was a lot of eating, too…

On Thursday, we drove to a nature preserve at Montepulciano and then spent late afternoon walking through the hill town of Montepulciano.

IMG_0518IMG_0550IMG_0567

There was a group that went off on a bike ride (or maybe it should be admitted that they got lost on a bike ride…)

IMG_0048

The clock tower in Montepulciano.

Friday was our first day in Florence with a hike up to Fiesole where Leonardo is thought to have tested his flying machines and then while most of the group toured the Uffizi with Marci’s friend Anna, Terry and I visited the Brancacci Chapel in search of frescoes. That evening we had aperitivos with more of Marci’s friends (Christina and Luca) in two different places. One a converted prison and the other the top of a hotel with a 360° view of Florence.

IMG_0771

Saturday we harvested grapes for Giovanni and his family and they gave us a fabulous al fresco lunch.

IMG_1105

Dinner that night was Christina and Luca serving us venison and polenta…

IMG_1103

Sunday was a hike with another friend, Malo, who is a basket maker and artist. She led us over to her house where she gave us a “snack” under her grape arbor…

IMG_0066IMG_1128 IMG_1146

That is a fabulous candle holder made out of two wine bottles…

IMG_1191

Dinner was in the local restaurant…

IMG_1180 IMG_1181IMG_1187

Monday was the big day! We climbed the 463 steps to the top of the Duomo…Carol got her portrait done by Kelly the street artist…and we visited Piazzale Michelangelo for some great panoramic views of Florence (cold wind, though)…

IMG_1275 IMG_1288

IMG_1336 IMG_1376

Our last day, in this part of Italy, we spent visiting another hill town, Volterra. That night there was a big BBQ cooked by Giovanni and attended by lots of Marci’s friends from different parts of the world. Much toasting to the great week.

IMG_1399 IMG_1400 IMG_1414 IMG_1512 IMG_1534

The next day (Wednesday) we were on the train to Venice for two more weeks of adventures, more great skies, and meet-ups with friends.

IMG_1558 IMG_1581 IMG_1587 IMG_1595

This is the outline and I plan more posts with greater detail. If you want to see the week in Chianti from Marci’s perspective you can go here for her blog.

Author: loisreynoldsmead

artist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s