24.09.2016 - 24.09.2016 24 °C
`The last journey before our two weeks in the Tuscan villa just out of Impruneta. Away early heading to Pisa, hoping to beat a) the tour buses and b) the heat! Made if for a) but not b) – so glad we’re here in summer and not the height of summer, the heat then from the stone paving and buildings must be amazing.
We last saw the tower in 2000 when it was at its most angulated – how do you say it? Leaning the further-est? Whatever, it’s now stable and still looks amazing – loads of people paying to climb it too and going through a metal detector beforehand. High security presence.
After an espresso break we headed off on the ‘slow’ roads (ie white roading again) towards Frienze, Impruneta and our villa La Querce (The Oak). Following a comment from JT about a tower on the hill over there, we headed towards it to investigate and found ourselves in the hill top town of San Miniato. This is the beginning of the old trading route between Firenze and Pisa and controlled the valley roads. Had a stunning lunch at a wee place outside, overlooking the valley. Eating outside makes everything (wine and food) taste soooo good.
Then Sarah and Oli navigated us using a map (i.e. not the GPS navigation system) to our villa. And a very good job they did too – considering the map (although and Italian touring map) didn’t have all the villages on the route!
And so to the villa – well, it’s stunning of course and the first order of the day was a swim in the pool which they’d kindly kept full for us. Apparently most people don’t swim this late in the season – their problem. It’s a 20 metre pool and lovely and clean, set amongst the olive trees below the house, very picturesque. The villa is furnished in period style (Marlene is loving it), but the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry are completely up to date! So we are 13 for the first night – Wallarcies (5), Team Thomson (4), Milnes and Cattells. The Leggett’s arrive in Firenze at 6am (train) from Vienna, JT has volunteered to collect them, and Oli is navigating.
Quick dash to the supermarket in Impruneta and Phil worked his magic risotto recipe for us then we were off to bed.