Friday, October 24, 2014

A month in Tuscany Day 28 - The last day and a look back

The last day again was sunny and warm and the remaining 7 of us decided to spend the day at the villa, enjoying the last day there and starting to pack up. It did not seem possible that 4 weeks had passed, the villa felt like home now and I had got used to all it's idiosyncrasies. I knew that I was going to miss the rhythms of Villa life.

Every morning Dave ran or drove to the bakery and returned with fresh bread and pastries for breakfast.

I sat and wrote my blog in the living room while the inhabitants gradually rose and made some espresso ate breakfast and decided what to do that day. Dave started ferrying those that needed to be driven to the station or bus stop and then inevitably drove a few people to Chianti country or somewhere in the surrounding country side.  Many days found me walking in to Siena and having lunch in one of my favourite restaurants and maybe checking out some new area or doing a little shopping.

Almost every day found Dave and I at the Co Op grocery store picking up a few essentials.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A month In tuscany day 27 - Finally a little culture

Day 27 dawned sunny and warm again and we all headed in to Siena, some walking some bussing and some in the car. I was on the walking crew and could not help taking yet more pictures of the scenery on the way.

We decided that since this was the last day of a full house we would do the things in Siena that we had not yet done and all meet for lunch.  Unfortunately our first choice was closed but we went with plan b.  This was the restaurant that we had gone to on the rainy market day. This time though since it was such a nice day we sat outside.  To start we ordered zucchini flowers to share.

Not only beautiful but very delicate and tasty. Unfortunately it is now 3 weeks later and I can not remember who ordered what, but I had the wild boar which was again very tasty, though I was looking forward to vegetables at this point.

The mushroom risotto was a popular choice as this also had been extremely tasty last time we were there.

I think the favourite dish this was the beef steak cooked with a red wine sauce.  This was so intense and flavourful.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A month in Tuscany day 26 - Another rainy market day.

We walked in to the market in Siena and though rain was threatening it was still pretty good heading down the dirt road and as usual the light was just a little different and a picture had to be taken.

You can feel the change of the season in the air and it was quite overcast, though not what you would call cold.  The market in Siena is every Wednesda, it is enourmous and attracts people from all the surrounding countryside.  It is really more of a local market than a tourist one, though never the less we were not the only tourists.  I finally bought a jacket not the one that I had been eyeing each week, but a new one.

After a couple of hours poking around the market it was time for lunch, rain was threatening, so went to the restaurant I had discovered 3 weeks before in a torrential downpour. I ordered the dish that Dave had previously ordered bonconcini of chicken with mushrooms, as did everyone else except Nancy.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A month in Tuscany day 25 - Another day in Siena

With every new arrival I like to walk with them in to Siena to orient them to the city.  I know the shops and restaurants very well but for the more cultural sights they will have to rely on others or a guide book I am afraid. As usual there were beautiful vistas and views down narrow streets that you can not help taking a photograph of.

It was a perfect day warm and sunny, but not too hot.  We decided to eat on the street near the Campo at a restaurant that I had been to for lunch several times.  Ken wanted lasagna, so that is what he ordered.

He said it was OK but not great.  Pat was feeling like a salad, they had been away for over week and really wanted something light.

She was happy with her choice, just salad with grilled chicken.  I ordered the lemon chicken, when it arrived I realised that was what I was cooking for dinner! Oh well I love lemon chicken and this was very good with roasted rosemary potatoes, another favourite of mine.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A month in Tuscany day 24 - Girls shopping day in Siena

Dave took Dennis off for a gruelling bike ride in Chianti country and Debbie joined me and Connie and Nancy for a day out in Siena.  We walked in to the city and it was not long before Debbie had bought a pair of shoes.  Much to Connie's frustration we wandered in and out of shops for the remainder of the morning, stopping briefly every once in a while to admire our beautiful surroundings. We decided to have lunch at the small restaurant just around the corner from the Campo.  I was determined to make it past the pasta course this time, so we ordered two pasta dishes to share.  Ravioli with funghi sauce.

This was, as always, delicious.  Along with this we ordered pappardelli with wild boar sauce, also delicious.

For the second course we shared roast pork, roast duck with potatoes cooked in tomato sauce and zucchini.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A month in Tuscany day 23 - A quick lunch in Chianti

3 of our crew went to Florence for the day, they were heading off early and I had not had a good night due to threatening cold so decided not to go.  Connie Dave and I drove in the Chianti countryside as Connie had not been there yet, and there was a restaurant that Dave wanted to take me to. The countryside everywhere is beautiful, but especially spectacular in Chianti Classico region.

We drove through the countryside admiring the views.  At one point we were able to see Sangimiano in the distance. The towers are very distinctive and set it apart from all the other hill towns.

We wended through the countryside until we came to the restaurant that they had lunch in the day before and indeed it was in a beautiful location with an expansive view over the valley.

The food was not bad either! I ordered scallopini with mixed funghi (mushrooms)

Wonderful very intense mushroom flavour.  Dave ordered pasta with the funghi sauce.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A month in Tuscany Day 22 - A quiet day at the villa

Dave, Gord, Nancy and Al were going to rent scooters and buzz around the Chianti region.  Originally I planned to go, but remembered that I lost my drivers licence just before coming away.  So I stayed back at the Villa with Connie who was not feeling confident enough to ride them. Connie and I decided to walk the other way along the road and see what we could find.  The scenery was stunning and we walked and talked and constantly clicked away with our cameras.

Every directions the views were beautiful.

At the end of the road it turned from rural to more urban going in to a residential area adjoining the University.  So we though we would look for a coffee shop.  What we found was a small market.

Of course we had to check it out, Connie found the perfect black cardigan for 10.00 euros and I found porccetta