It is now two weeks after our wonderful holiday in Tuscany and thought it was about time we got it on our blog.
The trip overall was great. Lots of beautiful weather, a farmhouse and swimming pool to ourselves, parks and walks for the kids, yummy meals, great focaccia everywhere, some history, a wee bit of Uncle Paddy time and more.
Day 1: Settled into the villa and enjoyed the pool
Day 2: Drove to Siena, checked out the Campo which was featured in one of the more recent James Bond movies and Duomo & had our first ice cream.
Day 3: Drove to Castiglione dei Pepoli to visit Siobhan's great grandfather's grave then through a national parc enroute to Lucca. It was a rainy morning but the sun popped out as we arrived at the cemetery and we spent a relaxed hour or more just hanging out in the cemetery, talking, telling stories, drawing, taking photos and looking at the view. Siobhan's great grandfather, Philip Greig died in Italy on 1st October, 1944 and she told Brendan about him- he was 34, had a butcher's shop, had three girls, had volunteered to go, etc etc. Brendan was very interested and wanted to know more. All in all a great thing to do.
Then we went for a walk along a ridge top trail nearby and then to Lucca for lunch and a bike ride around the town.
Day 4: Florence with Paddy, then Paddy and Siobhan went to the Uffizi and the Museo Galileo.
Day 5: Cinqua Terre. Drove to a train station to get the coast train only to be told that it was a general strike and there weren't any trains. Further enquiries told us that there "may be trains there but may not be any between villages or back". Well we went anyway but had to come staright back on a direct train. The beach was overcrowded but we had fun in the water and lunch on the beach.
Day 6: The abbey at San Galgano. And Italy's version of the sword in the stone. Siobhan told the story of the knight who set his sword into the rock and vowed never to be bad again- she embellished it more and more with each telling. But we still don't know the real story!
That night we had dinner at the lovely restaurant run by the owner of the farm and property we were staying on. Delicious wine to take home.
Day 7: San Gimignano Probably our favourite place. And always great to be there early in the morning to wander around in peace before the busloads of tourists arrive!
And we think this was the night when we had the most amazing sunset. Best we've seen for a long, long time. Alas, didn't have a camera but it wouldn't have done it justice anyway.
Day 8: Left the villa, drove back to Pisa and had a quick walk around the campo dei miracoli and the leaning tower before heading to the airport.