Pursuing Life's Daring Adventure

Monday, October 26, 2009

Eight Days under the Tuscan Sun

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


  1. Looking forward to the photos; I thought Tuscany was north of Florence/Firenze, however.

    Of course Sonoma County, here in California where I live, is considered to be very much like Tuscany--rolling hills, relatively temperate climate, grapes, blues skies . . .

    Va bene! :-)

  2. Thanks, Michelle!

    Yes, Tuscany must be much like Sonoma, especially near the coast. Since I'm not a geography expert, I looked up the Tuscany region, and Florence is the capital of Tuscany. So, Tuscany stretches in all directions from Florence, and adds up to 23,000 square kilometers.

    In any shape of the region, we loved it there, as I'm sure you love Sonoma!


  3. Bella!! Can't wait to see your photographs. We visited Florence two summers ago. Such a marvelous city, filled with art. Though we didn't drive, we did ride the train through bits of Tuscany on the way to the Cinque Terre region which I highly recommend for a future expedition. We stayed in Vernazza. It was the hands down family favorite. Quiet, medieval and lovely.

    We found the Italian people to be warm and gracious and the lyrical language was like music. We dream of going back someday. Such a wonderful gift you are giving your boys.

    Thanks for taking us along.

  4. Thank you, Sheila!

    Beautifully said. We'd love to have a future visit to Italy's Cinque Terre region. It was breathtaking when we drove through toward Genova.

    Not sure I could ever tire of Italy and its endless treasures ...

    Thank you for writing!

  5. A note: One friend wrote to ask if the stolen shoe was ever found.

    Great question with a funny answer: our sons found pieces of the shoe scattered across the estate. And on the day we left, the sly fox came out to wish us arrivederci.

    So we came home with only chewed up straps and a memorable story to tell!


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