Crete Senesi and the Val d’Orcia (18/08/2021)

Hello again! A little warning that this blog will have a ton of photos. As we knew we had a day-and-a-half in front of us, we didn’t go for a walk in the morning. Instead, we left early and drove the route to Siena, past the starkly lovely Colle val d’Elsa. Rather than take our …

A Trip to the I Gigli Mall (11/08/2021)

Today was the day we wanted to go visit a good-sized mall, to shop (of course), but also to see what they’re like over here. After exploring the map, I came to the conclusion that Prato seems to be ground-zero for malls. There are 3 in the vicinity, and it looked like I Gigli was …

Massa Marittima and a nice Night Walk (09/08/2021)

Niamh’s sister had friends who said that if they had the resources, they’d buy a place in Massa Marittima, and so her interest was piqued. Happily, this town is also one of my and Niamh’s favourites: it’s main square is beautiful, and is worth checking out if you happen to be in the Maremma. You …

A Stroll in Siena

After a shortish walk yesterday, we finally got our act together and left for Siena around 10:30.  What we’ve found very useful is to aim for this car park.  It is about 100m away from a series of escalators that takes you straight to the heart of the old town.  It’s called Parcheggio San Francesco, …

Terriciola, Castelalfi and Montefoscoli

Warning: this post is photo-heavy! Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was not in a position to be able to write anything yesterday, so I’m back with a bang today.  As well as being cooped up in the apartment for the weekend, we just needed to clear our heads and get out for a while.  Niamh …

Going Up in San Miniato

The previous night, Niamh whipped out the pasta maker and had a crack at making it for the first time – we settled on tagliatelle. The result was excellent pasta, and a good taste to the sauce, but it was a little dry.  This was down to a couple of things, but principally it was …

All is Quiet in Peccioli

Our guest wanted to assist us with getting some sort of environmental solution in, other than having to rely on fans. Niamh looked up mobile air-conditioning units in Comet, and then we went off to their branch in Pontedera to see what we could get. I’d previously remembered it as a bit of a dull …

Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa

Warning: this post is photo-heavy! With my stomach all better, we decided to head to a town we’d been meaning to travel to for a long time: Monteriggioni.  It’s a fully-walled medieval village, and is only about a 45 minute drive from where we are.  We drove off and stopped off at the ‘O’ for …

Blogflash: Take a bow, Querceto!

Seeing as I won’t be posting tomorrow, and that we actually changed our plans today – I have a quickie for you. Ever since I came to Volterra and scanned the neighbouring villages, I’ve been wanting to go to Querceto.  It’s a beautiful hamlet on the edge of a densely forested area (on a hilltop, …

Bibbona, Bolgheri and Prepping for the Medieval Festival

Erratum: Volterra has 8 contrade, not 6.  Always double-checks facts using multiple sites.  *Sigh* We took the Lancia POS southwest along the SR68 (and its many hairpin turns immediately after Volterra), and cut off after Casino di Terra towards Bibbona.  We passed tantilisingly close to Casale Marittimo, my favourite hilltop village, passed some nice scenery, …