I had no walk this Sunday – sure even God rested on the seventh day, so cut me some slack! We were to head to Vicopisano to attend their flower festival, and film it a little. It’s funny how car journeys seem to shorten the more often you do them, especially when you know you’re going to enjoy the destination. It’s only a little over an hour (if even) from Volterra, and we got parking in the massive overflow field they had opened for the event.
I got out and started filming/papping.
It didn’t take us long to bump into Marie and Lorenzo of Authentic Tuscany (Instagram, website), who offer some wonderful accomodation options throughout the town. They work really hard and giving their guests an opportunity to experience life in small-town and rural Tuscany. They offer guided hikes and experiences of produce-tasting (wine, cheese, olive-oil, truffles) with locals, with whom they have established a fun relationship.
Met Marie and Lorenzo soon after. Amazing couple. Even though it comes naturally to them, they work so hard at keeping people happy. Not many jobs are better.
So we were led by Marie and Lorenzo to a restaurant called 30metriquadri (because it’s the area of the indoor space!), and is run by a couple of Roman lads.
We settled down and slowly, but our group began to grow, from the 4 of us, then to 6 as a couple Marie and Lorenzo knew joined us. The man was a retired pilot and knew Marie from when she was an air Stewardess with British Airways. The lovely lady was a wonderful abstract artist (Instagram). Then three more came, including Chef Celine, who you might know from Nicki Positano’s content if you watch her. She’s a private Chef in the Lucca region, so if you’re in the area and are in the need of one, look her up (Instagram). Celine was joined by another British ex-pat couple. Everyone knew each other, so it was a little overwhelming at first for Niamh and me – and we remained relatively quiet (improving our listening skills, as I imagine it!), but everyone was so lovely, that their manner (plus a glass or three of wine) put us at our ease.
We then proceeded to have one of those wonderful Tuscan lunches that was about 1.5 courses of food, but lasted almost 4 hours. If a few people in the party hadn’t been short on time it would have been a little more relaxing, but Niamh and I weren’t in a hurry! We had little veggie balls of goodness, bread and pasta to accompany our wine – all very delish. A couple had desserts after, but we held back as we were heading out to dinner that evening.
Halfway through the wait/food, Marie had to meet up with a couple of ladies from Cork, who she introduced to the table. They looked to be enjoying the hell out of themselves. More happy clients for Marie and Lorenzo!
To be honest, I had always been worried about meeting more ex-pats and being enveloped in an ex-pat ‘bubble’, as we had wanted to try to integrate with locals primarily, but after this encounter we felt no more worries about that. Most of their Italian is fantastic, and it has just given me further impetus to learn and integrate more. On top of that, we met a bunch more interesting people we would never have met otherwise. More people equals more stories!
Once done, we headed out to explore the flower festival a little more.
It was a fun little festival. They combined it with their collectors market, and so there were a lot of people. A little brass-based marching band were playing throughout the town adding to the fun. The fact that the weather was pleantly warm and clear was just the icing on the cake.
You can watch a video of our trip to Vicopisano here:
We had a nice drive home, and were a bit naughty at L’Isola del Gusto (it was beginning to get busy), and sat out with our ill-gotten gains by the Church of the Archangel Michael.
We rested at home for a while, urging on our digestive systems to allow more food to be crammed in. Thankfully, they complied.
We were granted another lovely welcome, and as always the food flipping rocked!
We were plied with offers of after-dinner drinks, but we had to turn them down, as we had to be compos mentis for the next day. The next 5 days, in fact. No more on that, I’m afraid. We were also offered the use of the pool at Marcampo. I had every intention of taking them up on the offer, but I never actually did. We still intend this again in August when we return. A day out by the pool may be just the thing. Despite my hydrophobia and creamy whiteness.
We said our goodbyes, took the shot below and headed home.