La Vita Bella!
The Italians have it right in so many ways! Having just returned from ten days in Tuscany with my family, I am reminded that Italians live a beautiful life. It’s an idyllic lifestyle, that is both relaxed and family centric.
The beautiful country house we rented in Greve, in the Chianti area of Tuscany, was one that we had stayed in 15 years earlier.
When discussing vacation destination, my two oldest daughters Mallory and Averell jumped at the idea of returning to the place where they had enjoyed so many happy memories.
Eric and I were a little concerned that somehow the house and the surrounding countryside would fall short of what we remembered. So we were actually surprised and delighted that our time there outshone what we had previously experienced.
It took us no time at all stop hurrying and start relaxing. Our detailed itineraries were deleted and most afternoons were spent around the pool. There we swam, slept, read books and caught up.
It was sheer bliss to take a break during the hottest time of day to simply relax and enjoy a siesta.
The lunches and dinners we ate together were unhurried and enjoyed outside, which is all a part of the great communal charm of Italy. We often lingered long after the meal was consumed.
All the food we ate, which was so aptly prepared by a lovely couple at the house, was sourced locally and bought daily.
Most dinners ended with freshly made gelato made with the ripest berries found that day in Greve. Since we were in Italy, we felt we had to indulge a little now and then…and why not??
The idea is to treat yourself by having a little bit of somethng tasty, but not having so much you’re gorging yourself. This photo taken outside of appropriately named Perche No!, which is my favorite gelato shop in Florence (19 Via dei Tavolini) shows the Italian size “coppa” or cup, compared to the American super size portion. Olivia is obviously happy with her choice!
On Saturday mornings, a market selling everything from fresh fish to lace, overruns the quiet square in central Greve. It was great fun discovering the best cheeses, fish and vegetables amongst all of the stands.
I also discovered a lovely linen store on the square called Grazia Giachi, which sells hand embroidered silk, linen and cotton nightgowns.
Ideally located 40 minutes from Florence and an easy day trip to Siena, we occasionally dragged ourselves away from the property for some touring.
A working olive farm, we shared the property with six dogs, five cats, six cows, two burros, eleven goats, one horse, twelve geese and did I mention 11 roosters. By my estimation, there were approximately ten too many roosters crowing at the break of dawn. Oh, and by the way they are all considered pets.
Every night at around 8pm, the geese would walk up the hill in single file to take shelter in a shed near the house. The always hesitated as they approached the dogs and would double up to fortify their stance.
Unplugged from all social media, we found this daily ritual worth grabbing our cameras for and rushing over to record the procession. Oh, to the simple things of life!
(Photos taken by Averell Edmondson)