Lazy Days in Tuscany

Lazy Days in Tuscany

There are few things in life better than doing nothing while sitting by a pool on a hot day. I think I could get used to this ‘not running around seeing everything” style of travel. Or I could just get a plunge pool for my backyard.

This little car with the open back piled high with luggage whizzed by us yesterday – I could only grab the one shot, but it made me laugh. This is my idea of the perfect Italian car enroute to a fabulous vacation.

Now that’s a sweet ride.

Many of my dear readers are aware that David and I collect miniature nativities. There are a few criteria: must be miniature (the smaller the better – we have one where the characters are painted on grains of rice); and should be quirky or unusual. We have a lot of them already, so any new additions have to be unlike anything we already have. So imagine my delight at finding this booth at the wine festival:

And my dismay. As much as I would love to bring this amazing guitar nativity (I would be willing to break the miniature rule for this one) home, I just can’t. We are doing carry on and it just is not going to work. But the wheels are turning, and Don’s old guitar hasn’t been played in years . . .

A little more wine festival fun and into the big wine store here that has EVERYTHING. Don is in heaven.

Even a trip to the butcher is fun (vegetarians please close your eyes)

I think our police should get these uniforms – they look good on every body.

When we arrived at our pizza place, there was a group of band members getting fortified with wine and pizza standing around the door. Then they hoisted their instruments and played us a couple of tunes before marching down the lane towards the centre square.

We seem to be the only tourists who think these pizzas are too big for one person. Usually we share it and that’s plenty, but this time I wanted the pasta and Don wanted pizza so he tried to eat the whole thing – and failed. We took the leftovers home and the cold pizza made for a yummy lunch in our little garden the next day. I had the pici pasta with cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper sauce). Needless to say, it was amazing.

I even caught the pizza maker in the act!

It feels weird to be in what feels like the height of summer, but the sun has set and we are in complete darkness by 8:00. Usually Don and I are back at our place by nightfall and don’t often see the lights, so we were lucky on this particular evening to see the village all lit up.

Piazza Matteotti, Greve in Chianti
Looking back at Greve from up the hill near our B&B

One of the highlights of any trip to Greve is a meal at Il Ristoro di Lamole. We discovered this place deep in the mountains purely by accident on our first trip here. I had found a castle to stay in and booked it from home, never having been in the area. As we drive a long and windy road from Greve to the backwoods, I can still remember Don saying, “Where the hell are you taking me!?!”. And not in a nice way. The Castello di Lamole is really only about 14 km into the hills, but it seemed a lot longer because the road is narrow and winding and full of blind curves. We had a gps though and trusted that she was going to get us to our place – at some point. Then, all of a sudden, we saw our Castello:

Il Castello di Lamole

Gorgeous, non? We did have a bit of a rough start finding our “guy” this is back in 2009) and getting into our room (which had actually been unlocked the whole time), but it was gorgeous and we were happy with it. Unfortunately, the restaurant at the Castello was closed for the season and we hadn’t seen a single grocery or even the teeniest, tiniest store to get anything to eat, and Don made it abundantly clear that he was not driving down that mountain road again until checkout!

We asked our guy what to do and he said to walk up a little farther on the pitch black, one lane mountain road and we would find a nice restaurant. Since driving back to Greve was obviously not an option, we dropped our bags and headed up the road.

Lo and behold, he was right (of course) and out of the darkness there appeared a church and a restaurant – yay! It was one of those really happy moments and we loved the place and the staff. Last night we returned for the fifth time and the only disappointment was that they no longer serve their amazing pear and pecorino ravioli in brown butter. Here is the restaurant last night just before sunset:

And here are a couple of sunset pics:

Here comes the food porn – let us know if you ever want to meet Don and me for dinner here. We will come.

Burratta with cold roasted vegetables
Baked shells with ricotta and andouille sausage
Panchera pasta tubes (I think) stuffed with mushrooms and topped with truffles – this dish makes up for the no pear and pecorino ravioli thing

One of the highlights of any visit to this restaurant is the free limoncello – straight from the freezer – to finish your meal. It’s just a “help yourself” kind of thing (one time we drank the whole bottle). The chef came out with a little plate of cheese for us, since we didn’t want dessert and our favourite waiter came over for a nice chat. I instinctively held out my (bug bitten) hand and he took it oh so naturally and kissed it and patted it. Maybe we should bring hand kissing back – it was really charming.

That’s about all the news from here in Tuscany – after Friday, we will be doing loads of things to report on from Apulia, but for the next couple of days, we are just doing a whole lot of nothing and enjoying it to the max. Ciao for now!

4 responses to “Lazy Days in Tuscany”

  1. Amazing photos Jan! What a wonderful vacation.
    Not sure how you could avoid bringing home several of those mini nativity scenes – so awesome.


  2. Oh what a wonderful holiday. I would find it very hard to come back home.
    Love all the mini nativity trinkets. The food and wine look amazing.
    Yes bring back the kiss on the hand. How romantic ❤️


  3. Yum yum yum . I will definitely meet you there for dinner some day (as long as Don drives). I am now going to Google a recipe for pear and pecorino ravioli in brown butter sauce.


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