When I saw the movie Under the Tuscan Sun years ago, Tuscany became a place I yearned to visit. The cinematography in the movie was beautiful, and the lure of a slower pace of life combined with the elements of great Italian foods and wines only accented the gentle beauty of the Tuscan land.
We’ve always been a driving family—we enjoy absorbing the roll and beauty of a country as we pass through it. Since we now live in Prague, Czech Republic, we thought we would enjoy the journey to Italy for our kids’ October break from school. And so began our family vacation to Italy. Every hour of the drive was breathtaking (I’ll have to blog about it for another post).
A region in middle Italy known for its abundant and fine olives and wines, Tuscany is rural, just north of Rome, and is sweetly seasoned with generous people, prolific sunshine, and fascinating history. Italy, and Tuscany, was a wonderful place to visit, especially in the low tourist time of October.
We stayed the week in a beautiful tiny villa on the Mediterranean Sea in the Maremma region of Tuscany in Italy. (http://www.trustandtravel.com/) Since the villa sits on an estate of olive groves and sheep pastures, we found the beach to be completely deserted, with no other villas or residences for miles around. Wow! It was just gorgeous, passing the days playing in the sand, collecting colorful shells, taking long walks, cooking and eating delicious food, and spending quiet time together to absorb the vast recent changes in our lives. The serenity was deeply fulfilling. And for our three boys, ages seven, eight, and ten, they relished the sand and sun, discoveries of washed-up coins, lizards and snakeskins, and encounters with the local fox (including when she stole a shoe left out for the night).
We saw and experienced so many other things while away—Firenze (Florence), Siena, ancient hill towns, Rome, Pisa, the NW Italian coast, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria—it seems I have endless stories to share and thousands of photographs to sift through.
Our family vacation in Italy was quite a dream come true, far exceeding all hopes. The velvet blue sky and lush rolling landscape will linger in our minds for quite some time, I think.
Tuscany and Italy have captured my heart …
Planning to share a photo journal of our trip in the next post—Ciao! -JK