Archive for 20 May 2009

Tuscany or: how I learned to stop worrying and love nature

Ciao Bloggisti!

Just got back from a girls’ weekend in Dublin and will eventually post about that but for now I have a story about my Easter holiday in April…

Picture it: Tuscany – April 2009. I’m alone, sitting on the edge of the sofa bed in the agriturismo , nervously looking at the bucolic countryside from behind the comfort of the screen door. My family are somewhere frolicking outside and I’m trying to muster up the courage to go out and join them. Like Woody Allen, I’m not a big fan of the great outdoors. I grew up in Scarberia, for crying out loud! The closest I ever got to nature was cleaning the litter box. But that was a long time ago. I’m a grown woman now. I’ve backpacked around Europe and India, been through the joys of labour and childbirth, moved halfway across the globe and, most importantly, got through all the convoluted paperwork to get my Italian citizenship without losing my mind. No small feat. So, I can open the door and take on the rolling hills of Tuscany. I CAN DO THIS! SE PO’ FA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I slowly open the screen door and what do I see? A purty little kitty cat.

easter cat

Phew! It’s nice to see a familiar face. Me and cats, we’ve got a connection, see. I grew up with them and have two of my own now. But this kitty looks a bit on edge. It’s in pounce position, tail nervously flicking from side to side. All of a sudden I see a flash of fur shooting past. I lose sight of the cat for a second but then I notice it’s magically back in its original position. Something on the other side catches my eye. It’s a grey worm, twisting and writhing on the pavement. Strange. It didn’t rain last night. Why would there be worms around? Strange. I’ve never seen a grey worm before. Wait a minute! As the penny drops I look over at the cat and notice it’s chewing on something crunchy. OH MY GOD! A bony mouse  foot is sticking out of kitty’s mouth. That’s it! I’m outta here!!!!!! Cut to me sitting on the sofa bed once again, looking outside the screen door, calculating how many more hours I would have to endure before escaping to the comfort of big city smog.

Well, I may be exaggerating just a tad. Nature is actually growing on me in my old age. But that cat story is all true! I did manage to get over my initial hesitancy and ended up having a wonderful time in Tuscany, in the Maremma countryside to be precise. We stayed in a comfortable apartment inside an old but recently refurbished stone villa, surrounded by hills, olive groves and vineyards. It was heaven.

agriturismo easter 234

This agriturismo wasn’t an all-inclusive, luxury inn. But to me, it was a taste of the real Tuscany. It’s a little gem of a place,  close to Etruscan archaeological sites, medieval villages, hiking paths, Maremma’s famous horse ranches and seaside towns. It was also perfect for the kids. There was lots of space for them to run freely outside and they had a great time playing with the animals, especially the chickens and the aforementioned killer cats. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves, so much so that my daughter wants to live in Tuscany now. That won’t be happening any time soon but we will definitely go back to the Maremma, grey worms and all.

diggy &dad easter 2009

20 May 2009 at 1:01 am 11 comments


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