Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuscany: Dear Mom, wish you were here

Dear Mom,

This afternoon, we arrived in Florence. This will be our base city as we explore the Tuscany region of Italy. As this is my first time in Italy, I'm so excited with all things we will see and experience and I'm also looking forward to eating authentic Italian food. I remembered grandpa when I first set foot in the old quarter of Florence. Like grandpa's graying hair and wise eyes the age and wisdom of the city is very much evident in the sheer patinas of the houses that line the historic district, worn out cobblestone streets and century old churches.

We stayed in a rustic Italian apartment a bit dusty but it is just a short walk to the famous Duomo. The Duomo is so huge but you will notice the fading paint which gives it a somehow grimy look. I think it is supposed to look that way considering that it is a very old church. But as I looked closer I noticed the painstaking details of the paintings and the intricacies and genius of the architecture.I feel so blessed Mom, that I was given an opportunity to personally see and experience places and things that I can only read in books before.

For dinner, we veered out a little bit away from the restaurants in the vicinity of the Duomo even if there is this cute looking Italian waiter that is bribing us with a free massage to go with our dinner (but of course Mom, I know he is just kidding and I'm still a dalagang Filipina at heart). We walked towards a small street called Via del Proconsolo to look for a tiny homely trattoria called Trattoria Le Mossacce. Here we ate such delectable Florentine cuisine at a budget friendly price and we had wine called Chianti that made me warm all over and just a bit giddy.

It's our second day here in Florence and today we are up at the break of dawn because we will be exploring the other small cities/towns in Tuscany. We got this Best of Tuscany tour that will take us to the different towns here.

Our first stop is Siena, they are well known for their medieval horse races called Palio that is held twice a year. Siena's history and culture are greatly influenced by this race. Piazza del Campo is where these races are held and this is also where the Palazzo Publico and Torren Mangia are situated. The Piazza is like a soccer field but instead of grass is made of red bricks and lined all around with houses/shop houses done in medieval architecture. It will soon be noon and the sun is up and the people are scattered around the piazza enjoying the warm rays of the sun while we were scampering towards the airconditioned comforts of the cafe. 

For lunch we headed to a vineyard/farm in the town of San Gimignano, here we had a simple tour of the vineyard, the factory where they process the wine and where they kept the wine casks and even the animal pen. We roamed and took photos of the vineyard it is still is beautiful even if it is not yet the harvest season, I could just imagine how more pretty it will look like with all the ripe grapes and rows upon rows of vines. It kinda reminded me of the movie "A Walk in The Clouds". Mom, here I was introduced to the best tasting white wine I ever had, and it is more than enough reason for me to come back here just to taste that wine again with its sweet and light taste. That taste will always remind me of the beauty of Tuscany.

After our lunch we headed to the historic center of San Gimignano that was dubbed as the Medieval Manhattan because of how the towers dominate the skyline that if you will see it from a distance it resemble skyscrapers. We walked along the walled historic center and drop by the shops and here we met an Italian woman in a small shop that sells paintings who reminded me of you. She told us that she is retired already and with nothing much to do instead of getting bored at home she decided to look after the store. She was so sweet and nice to talk to and she was so fascinated to meet people all the way from Asia. This is also the place where we got a big cone of gelato each from Dondoli gelateria. There was even a signage in front of their door that they won the world championship of gelato well I guess I'm eating one of the best gelato in Tuscany or even in the world. Mom, I think you would have also enjoyed a big cone of that creamy and yummy goodness.

Our last stop for the day is the famous Pisa for the leaning tower of Pisa. Yes Mom, I will be going up that architectural mess that turned into a world famous landmark. The sun is starting to set down when we arrived and it was so beautiful to see the white marble tower washed in the golden light of the setting sun.It was a long climb, you would probably have a tough time if you were with us but when we reached the top we were rewarded with a bird's eye view of the city of Pisa and the setting sun in the horizon. Of course,I did not fail to get my own version of my photo with the leaning tower. The one where you look like your pushing or leaning into the tower.Mom, the world is really is beautiful. 

On our last morning in Florence, we walked along the Arno river and crossed the historic Ponte Vecchio bridge. We headed to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a panoramic view of the whole city with the river in the foreground and the dome shaped roof of the Duomo in the background.

Tuscany is indeed beautiful and all the books I read did not give it any justice because you have to experience it. You have to walk along the downtrodden paths, drink the wine and breathe the crisp autum air. 

Mom,wish you were here with me.

Your Daughter who is currently Out On Vacation

Trattoria Le Mossace
Via del Proconsolo 55r, Firenze

To get a tour package of the Tuscany region visit www.walkaboutflorence.com
(The best of Tuscany tour) priced at 90 EUR per pax inclusive of transport and

1 comment:

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