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Bella Toscana- first, and lasting, impressions

Bella Toscana- first, and lasting, impressions

Oct 25th, 2013, 11:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 315
Bella Toscana- first, and lasting, impressions

The many joyful surprises that are Italy-my 9 days in Florence, Cortona, Siena and Radda.

That first afternoon in Florence, to turn a corner into Piazza della Signoria with its statues and fountain and border of grand buildings - literally pulled the breath from the lungs of this jaded New Yorker. The muddy Arno, not unlike our mighty Mississippi, with the perimeter of subdued colors by day, and bejeweled by sparkling lights at night. To turn a corner and see the magestic DUOMO in Florence aglow against the sky. The exquisite shoes and handbags and jewelry and clothes. My first sight of Michelangelo's DAVID. I am sure he was breathing. It dissolved me to tears. Entering Siena's DUOMO with its beautiful marble floors and hearing the faint, haunting unaccompanied simplicity of a Gregorian chant.....

A morning cappuccino handed to you as though a small special gift, and that first creamy, sip. Mercato Centrale (Central Market) with the rows and rows of cheeses and oils and mushrooms and goodies to please every palate. The plate of warm eggplant salad, on the shaded poolside patio of a rural castle. The vineyard owner who welcomed us with champagne opened by sword, and then invited us inside for the unexpected offering of wild boar lasagne. My simple lunch of ribolitta (Tuscan bread bean and vegetable soup) and salad with rich olive oil and acidic balsamico and Tuscan chardonnay, overlooking a medieval hilltown piazza. The glorious desserts presented after a delicious dinner of hen and sauteed spinach and porchini risotto with shaved truffles. The chartreuse liquid gold of olio nuovo.

The vistas. We walk up the inclined street and arrive at the ancient stone town of Cortona with its quaint narrow streets, and look out at the beautiful roofs and hills and countryside. From the vineyard -while tasting warm grapes- we look up @ the castle, and from the castle's veranda we look out, and see the splendor that is rural Tuscany as far as the eye can see. Just when we see a vista that could not be more beautiful, another appears, every angle a perfect panorama.The profound quietude of the medieval stone town of Radda.

Every day one or another of us gazed out, took a bite, or a sip...... and our eyes filled with tears. "You don't know how long I've ached for this trip" one of our group choked out. Oh. Yes. I do.........
NativeNewYorker is offline  
Oct 25th, 2013, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 971
you write so beautifully... thank you!
travelhorizons is offline  
Oct 26th, 2013, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,144
Sounds wonderful.
denisea is offline  
Oct 26th, 2013, 10:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,480
Inspiring. And takes me back to my very first time in Toscana. There have been MANY MANY more since, specifically for the things you write about. Glad you enjoyed so much and lift a glass to many future ones. I am sure there will be !!
Flame123 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2013, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
I love your sense of discovery. You find your own beauty in things both common to visitos and things "off the beaten path".
mamcalice is offline  
Oct 27th, 2013, 06:47 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,122
I was just thinking of all the goodies at the Mercato Centrale this morning...I was just there last month and enjoyed every row of booths. I always love the swordfish heads with those swords pointing up.
kwren is offline  

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