Just back from a fantastic few days in sunny Italy. We explored a bit of Tuscany, starting in Florence before driving to Siena and then on to the coast at Porto Santo Stefano. In addition to the cultural feast, there was wonderful food. For people who have been deprived of real cooking for a few weeks as the kitchen is re-fitted, this was heaven. We sampled local food (including wild boar stew) and wine in some little restaurants, and have become addicted to our morning cappuccino. Alas, the weather back home in Manchester is about 20 degrees cooler and a whole lot wetter, so the place doesn’t lend itself to a leisurely coffee break outside.
There wasn’t too much time to sit and sketch, but we took plenty of photos for reference. This is a sleepy little village called Monteriggioni, which was built on a hill in 1203 with 14 towers to ward off invading Florentine armies. A few centuries later, our Florentine taxi driver made it clear that the rivalry between Florence and Siena was still going strong. Not quite sure where my loyalties lie, but they are both lovely areas to visit.