Monday, May 26, 2008

If it's Monday, this must be Florence

I don't need to tell you that we're having a fabulous time but here are a few pics to prove it. It's actually Tuesday morning now and I finally have some time to really sit down and blog. It's been a whirlwind 3 days already!!! I'll spend a few lines here telling you about our villa. It's about 3 km from a teeny, tiny town called Montespertoli. Lucky for us, there's a Chianti wine festival going on there this week because otherwise, I think it's a pretty sleepy little town. The great news is that we are walking distance...the bad news, it's a hilly, windy road and you really have to keep your wits about you because there are cars, bikes, motorcyles, coming at you at high rates of speed. But it's a picturesque walk and we've done it once already. The villa is huge...there are 8 of us and we could all be at different places in the house and never run into each other. In fact, we have two bedrooms, each with 3 twin beds that aren't even being used. It's old, but Yves has a done a beautiful job of restoration....beautiful clean white walls, stone floors, marble countertops in the kitchen...for use, not show...a million windows that open onto the incredible views I showed you on Saturday. The villa is at the top of a hill so we have a spectacular view into the valley of olive trees and vineyards. Dick and I have the outer bedroom....maybe a garage??? Separated from the house by a small walkway, a bedroom and bath that has doors opening onto the patio which look down in the valley. The bed faces the door so we go to sleep at night gazing down at the valley lights and wake every morning to the view...too spectacular for this amateur blogger to even put into words.

The dinner we had on Sunday cooked by Carla, Yves' chef also was indescribable and huge...and here a note about $$$$....since I don't have a Euro button on the computer. Things don't seem overly expensive here, even with the dollar where it is...we've managed to find "cheap" eats for lunch and there's a small market in Montespertoli where we've bought groceries. Obviously, being in the villa and being able to buy staples makes a huge difference in cost. At the wine festival....where we've already purchased 8 bottles of wine and need to restock soon....the most we paid for awesome wine was 5 Euro....most of our bottles were 3.50 we're drinking much better wine for much cheaper than at home. Our private chef cost us 30 Euro per person but we all ate way too much that night....then ate leftovers last night...and we still have food leftover for tonight....and that included wine :)

Today Dick and I are on our own...and he's still sleeping. The rest of the group are in Rome. Sally, Ron & Pam are headed back this evening...David & Gina come home tomorrow night and Stanage is on her way to Pompeii and we're not sure when we'll see her next.

Okay, one last thing before I get to a few photos. We (Me, Dick, Ron, Pam & Sally) piled into our little VW Golf and drove into Florence yesterday. We were fine driving in....around 11 yesterday morning (along with "Alice" our Nuvi GPS)...but we timed it badly and came out right about 5:30....yep, rush hour....unfortunately none of us took any video but I'm sure it will be the funniest story of the trip. Thankfully, Dick is an awesome driver and all that time spent on the track with his car has finally paid off!!!! Cars, buses, scooters, motorcylcles and bikes....all sharing the road...which, by the way, does not have any lines so it's pretty much a free for all....but it is controlled chaos!!! And now...proof that we're still in Italy!!

There's just no way we can pass up taking funny car pics. This is a one seater electric car....with gas at about $9 per gallon makes sense.
The famous Ponte was a beautiful, sunny day in Florence and after dropping some coins on the Ponte Vecchio...yes, Pam and I both bought jewelry...we had a beautiful walk through town. I never tire of this view down the Arno....

You can't send 5 marathon runners to Italy and not expect us to climb every staircase there is! We did climb the 463 steps up to the Cupola in the Duomo to witness this gorgeous Florentine landscape.
And from the bottom of the steps....the Duomo.


Jenny said...

Buon giorno mi amica! Como sta e oggi? Io desidero una vacanze con te a Firenze. What a fabulous trip you must be having! I'm so glad you posted pics, they look incredible. I'm seriously going back to Italy next year!


My Mélange said...

I love Florence. Sounds like you are having a ball!!

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