Lari and the Pasta Factory

We have two guests with us for a short while, so we decided to take them to Lari. We had been there before, but the Martelli pasta factory tours were closed in August (when many Italians go on holiday). We wandered up to the carpark, only to see that they’d strung some brollies over Gramsci. …

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 …

The Original Sword in the Stone, and Casole d’Elsa

Warning: the following post is photo-heavy. It is the popular opinion of folklorists that the Arthurian legend of the Sword in the Stone was inspired by Saint Galgano, who plunged his own weapon through rock, in an act of piety.  And there, today, it still rests, in the rotunda of a chapel on the hill …

Nothing Much Happened Here Today

The departure of our guest means that we are settling back into main pattern of living, rather than holidaying – so we can see how much one can survive on here per day.  This means that (a) we do not work, and (b) we sit on our fat cans for much of the day. In …

We Blitz-Visit 4 Hilltowns

Warning! This page is photo-heavy! We showered and made ourselves pretty, then went to the bank (Cassa di Risparmio di Volterra) to renew our online banking security token. They are our mortgage provider. We had to go to an Italian bank, as Irish banks at the time (and still maybe today) were refusing to grant …