Back in June, I went to Italy with my parents and sister and brother in law (Anna and Simon Clarke). We stayed in southern Tuscany in a house three quarters of the way up a mountain taller than Snowdon. The house and its surroundings were breathtaking. The drive up to the house, however, was absolutely terrifying. Looking back on it now, it’s actually quite funny that we picked a holiday house so remote that the nearest shop was a 45minute drive round hairpin bends with 200ft drops to the side of them. At the time, I was horrified. The house itself was only accessible via a 2km dirt track which our Ford Focus hire car really struggled with.
Nevertheless the house was beautiful, with a gorgeous pool and great views and being so out in the sticks we saw so much crazy wildlife! There were scorpions, wild boar, giant lizards, fireflies and huge wasp/hornet things that sounded like lawn mowers. Apparently there are also porcupine and poisonous snakes in the area but we failed to see these. Bit glad about the latter.
The house we stayed in belongs to Kate and Andrew, a lovely English couple who were fantastic and very welcoming. The nearest town was Cortona, which was also lovely, a typical tuscan hill top town with picturesque streets and fantastic views over the region.
Despite the treacherous and vomit-inducing roads, we managed to make it out of the house for a day trips to Siena and Rome. We also went to Fattoria La Vialla for the day, an organic farm which produces a whole range of things: wine, olive oil, pasta sauces, biscuits etc. For 25 Euros you can have lunch there, a 4 hour, 5 course affair where everyone eats together under fig trees and is plied with food, wine, vin santo and grappa until they can hardly stand. It was fantastic. Most of my pictures from the week are from this one day!
Have a look…