ITALY 2012 – PART 2

San Gimignano

When we woke up Wednesday morning the sun was shining and after that it never stopped shining. Wednesday was a travel day. Again we avoided the highways and drove on small roads through the Tuscan hills. Our azienda was situated at one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed at. It was on the top of a hill and from the terrace/pool we looked over the Tuscan hills and San Gimignano.

The azienda


View from the pool, in the background San Gimignano

View from our room every morning

We tried to visit San Gimignano in the afternoon but it was overcrowded with tourists (very popular city) and we decided to come back later when all the day tourists would be gone. We relaxed a bit at the pool and went back around 5 pm. At that time we could park our car and it wasn’t that busy anymore. We walked around for a bit and had dinner. I had a salad with ham and cheese. After dinner we bought an ice cream at one of the best ice cream salons in the world. I don’t like ice cream very much but this was good! (During the entire vacation I bought 3 ice creams, 2 here and 1 in Florence).


Thursday we went to the Island Elba. We hadn’t been there and we always wanted to go. Elba is the island to which Napoleon Bonaparte was banished after his defeat. We left the car and took the ferry to the island. This took about 1 hour. We walked around in Portoferraio. There were 2 houses where Napoleon stayed. The first one in Portoferraio was closed for renovation but his summer house was open for public. We took a bus to get there. The view from this house over Elba was magnificent.

View from the ferry


Napoleon's summer house

View from his house

At 5 pm we took the ferry back and drove back to the azienda. We stopped for dinner. I had Scallopine al limone with some fries and salad.

This was a long day. We left at 8 am and got back at 10 pm. We had a glass of wine at the terrace and went to bed because we were tired.


Friday was the day R. looked forward too the most: we had rented a Vespa scooter. We had decided the day before that we would go to Volterra.

Volterra was something I wanted to see because I’m a huge Twilight fan. And the part of New Moon that’s in Italy was filmed here. I recognized some buildings immediately from the movie. It was fun to see it and it was a lovely city. Volterra is mostly known for making the most beautiful things from albaster. Because I’m a Twilight fan R. bought me a gift: a Twilight apple made of albaster.

After touring around the entire day we returned it in San Gimignano and got another ice cream at the salon. You can see how busy it is. People were pushing to get in which I don’t get: you’re on vacation, what’s the hurry?

At night we had dinner at the azienda. Dinner is like this at an azienda: they don’t have menu’s, you eat what they make, everybody gets the same. We like this a lot because sometimes you get things you wouldn’t order yourself but are very good. We started with some antipasti, after that we got pasta with tomatoes and bacon, next course was chicken with mixed salad and dessert was tiramisu.

Tomorrow the last part of our journey.


14 responses to “ITALY 2012 – PART 2

  1. What beautiful landscape photos. Oh my goodness they are so beautiful they look like postcards. I think the azienda dinner looks amazingly delicious!

    P.S. I would eat gelato every single day if I could. I actually like it better than what we call ice cream here in the USA.

  2. Those buildings, roads, scenery, water , FOOD , WOW WOW WOW!!!

    And can I just say one thing and be completley honest with you? Fran you look gorgeous, so fit, slim and glowing. What ever you are doing is working girlfriend!!! 😉

    Looking forward to part 3!!

  3. I’m not a big ice cream eater either, but man, the gelato in Italy is in an entirely different category!
    And I agree with what Syl says – you look fabulous, Fran!

  4. Of course people were pushing, that place was the world champion of gelato!!! I’m telling you, I love gelato – it’s different than regular ice cream and oh so good!

    Italy is just so gorgeous. I can’t get over how lovely it looks in every single picture! You look fantastic, too. 🙂

  5. The azienda seems kind of like a bed and breakfast. They serve you breakfast, whatever they are making that day.

    The view from your room is stunning!

    I love the scooters. I had a little one like the ones in your picture, but it got stolen. John has the bigger scooter now that we can both ride. So fun!

    You both look so relaxed.

  6. Your vacation looks beautiful Fran. I hope it was everything you wanted. Sure sounds like it was. I’m so happy that the weather improved for you. And I love that picture of you rolling the pasta – stunning! Your face is just so bright.

    Gelato is amazing! You did well to only have it a few times. 🙂 Welcome home!

  7. Wow. Just wow! How spectacular is all that? I’m happy you are having such a fantastic trip! Italy is really high on my list of places to visit. I envy you Europeans who can get to so many great places so easily!

  8. Great great trip. I also went to San Geminano. I didn’t ride a scooter. What fun. And the meals look yummy.

  9. Absolutely fabulous. I can’t believe the scenery…it is so beautiful that is almost seems unreal. Looking forward to your next installment.

  10. It’s been quite some time since I visited Italy. Your pics remind me of our wonderful time there. I love the country, I love the food, I love the people. Hmm… I should go visit again. 🙂

  11. More delicious food! You are making me hungry. 🙂

    I giggled at the Twilight apple! Funny.

    Wow, that hotel looks just incredible.

  12. Amazing photos! I love that you rented Vespas!

  13. Wow. Those photos are incredible! I love the pool on the hill with that fabulous view.
    Also, you look fabulous! Especially love the photo of you in that cute dress on the stairs.

  14. The food pictures are making my water right now! All that delicious pasta and cappucino…oh my!! How fun that you rented vespas! Such the Italian way to do it! Fun fun fun!!

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