A Trip to Tuscany

Sorry for the lack of blog posts last week.  I was in Tuscany for a week with my family.  We really love visiting Italy and have been back repeatedly for summer vacations.  There is something about the delicious food, beautiful wine, and the friendly Italians that make for such a relaxing and enjoyable trip each time.  We have done trips to Sicily and Lake Orta, but Tuscany seems to get the most votes as we have been back there the most.  Last week we were at a beautiful villa in Maremma.These were our driving directions to the villa - "on your right you will see a long tree lined road with cypresses perfectly aligned. Turn right and continue for 2 km. until you reach a big stone on your right, drive upward till the property gate."  Don't you love that?   Definitely no road signs to be found.

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We made a trip to a nearby family owned vineyard, where they had just begun the harvest.  All the grapes are harvested by hand from 6.00-11.15am over the course of two months by four people.  In December, there is only one family member that they trust to prune the seven hectares of vines, which he does again by hand. They make 30,000 bottles a year.  The hard work and hand crafted nature of their business is just incredible.  It does seem to be a lifestyle that agrees with them, as the 95 year old grandfather is still very active and fixes wooden furniture by hand.

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Siena was only an hour drive away, so we made a day trip there.  There were many depictions of the town's emblem - a she-wolf suckling infants Romulus and Remus.  According to legend, Siena was founded by Senius, son of Remus, who was in turn the brother of Romulus, after which Rome was named.

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There was plenty of vino,....

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...delicious pasta that a lovely Italian lady Maria cooked...

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...and my husband and sisters surprised me with an early birthday celebration.  My birthday is actually months away, but as my family is spread over Asia and Europe, they decided to celebrate my decade change in Italy.  My sister hand made this beautiful cake in London and brought it over to Italy with her!  She hand carried it on the plane and managed to sneak it through by saying it was my wedding cake.  Thank you so much to my family for a wonderful birthday!

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My flight back to NY was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene.  I am writing this in London, on a short layover.  I may have to go hunting for some yorkshire pudding or bangers and mash later today.  I hope that all of you on the east coast stayed safe.

Photography by Ang Weddings and Events