When we decide to go to Tuscany, we were a bit put off at first as local agents were really expensive for the self catering, self drive holidays. We finally went on line and found www.a1tuscanyvillas.com and everything fell into place. We found just what we had been looking for and it didnt hurt our pockets too much either.
We had never been to Italy before and little did we know what was in store for us as we were oblivious to Italian customs and of course the Italian language.
We stepped off the plane in Pisa and the Tuscan sun we had expected to meet us didn't show. A little disappointed, we trotted off to our car rental, it was simpler than expected and the road out of Pisa was easy, we even managed to drive on the right (everybody else was doing the same) until we came to a roundabout and that caused some confusion, the kids were helpless.
When we reached the villa the owners were there to meet us and had kindly brought us a bottle wine, it was just what we needed after the tiresome journey. It was one of the most beautiful Tuscany villas we ever rented.
We awoke the next day to glorious sunshine and spent the day at the villa around the pool. We had stopped along the way to buy some groceries so we decided to barbecue the lovely fat saugsages we had bought, all was ready, we went indoors to fetch the crockery and low and behold on our return.......... the sausages had disappeared! We never got to the bottom of that, although a neighbouring dog looked highly satisfied with himself, we kept a watchful eye on our precious barbecue thereafter.
In the small nearby town, we came across, what the Italian's call a "sagra" this is a culinary event where all the locals have this wonderful meal and dancing which goes on until the early hours.
The lush, simplicity that goes into meals, fit for any banquet, is just amazing. We had never heard of gnocci (like little dumplings) so we decided to try them with a ragu sauce, followed by, wait for it........pigeon! Me, finicky adams eating pigeon? Yes and I even went back for more, the Italians just have this knack of making everything look and taste so delicious.
The dancing was sort of a cross between old time and folk, we decided anything goes and did a little jig and a jive around the floor and were loudly applauded by the locals for our courage.
We had a great time and the people were chatting to us like old friends by the end of the evening, we had so much fun nodding our head and smiling whilst trying to look intelligent as if we had understood every word. The children were delighted to seeing mum and dad in a fix and took the mickey for weeks after.
We absolutely loved Tuscany and enjoyed every minute of our holiday, watch out we'll be back. Arriverdeci!.