Tuscany: a region of Central Italy, formerly a grand duchy (a territory ruled by a duke or duchess); an exquisitely beautiful setting, aloof and apart from the outside world; quiet, serene.
Sounds and sights and scents of a perfect setting command our full attention. My companions (sister-in-law, Carol; niece, Christine; and friend Inger-Anne) want to miss nothing. We gape wide-eyed at everything in sight. We listen. We smell. We touch. We taste.
Variegated patchworks of spring greens cover rolling hills and valleys as far as the eye can see, holding us captive to the beauty of Tuscany.
Yellow, orange, tan, and apricot-colored villas with clay tile roofs crown many hilltops, standing majestically in time.
Symmetrical rows of carefully pruned grapevines line the hills in orderly array, soaking up the warm afternoon sun.
Dusty green olive trees show their new spring-green leaves amidst the dark green of last season, getting ready to produce new fruit.
Climbing white wisteria and light blue flowers of rosemary bushes scent the air, teasing our senses.
Wild cherries beg to be picked and eaten.
Red poppies stand royally among the roadside weeds.
A dusty toad, caught in freeze-action on the gravel road at night, waits for our car to pass to reclaim his territory. (I entertain my friends by slipping into a roadside ditch trying to take this little hopper’s picture!)
Two ring-tailed pheasants run through tall grass in an olive grove, evading our curious eyes and ready cameras.
Our car’s tires (A Mercedes!) crunch and bounce on the rutted gravel road, leaving a trail of flying dust.
We hum as we try to match the sound of our car’s tires on a short piece of pavement oddly interspersed on the long twisting gravel road that climbs to our hill-top villa: Il Borghetto.
Welcome to Tuscany and an adventure in history, culture, and beauty.
Next: A Villa in Tuscany