We parked the car in front of a big old gate but there was no trace of a hotel not to mention a hotel reception. We looked at each other and wondered where we were, did we get lost? But the name of the street was correct, even the number of the house. The voice on GPS also said: “you have arrived at your destination”. So we left the car there and started to walk. All of a sudden, a glass door was opening before us. There was, the reception of Hotel Villa Casagrande! What a nice place! The residence dates back from 14th century. There is a lot o history behind this walls and I am only mentioning some of the characters that liked spending time here besides artists and philosophers, Carlo V, king of Spain, Pope Leone X, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
I had no idea of all this when we arrived but one thing I could see, the quality of the villa. To spend some days there was a total delight. Have I mentioned that I am talking about a hotel in a small village from the Province of Florence, Tuscany? No, I have not.
Some of you love the Italian food and if you ask me, the Italian kitchen is one of my favorites. My friends have heard a thousand times about Stefano the waiter, the garden where we had dinner every evening and about how delicious the food was. Pasta al tartufo bianco remained as it was written with a permanent marker in my mind, I can even feel the taste when I write about it and I am not even mentioning tiramisu or red wine. I already revealed that the place was very, very old, so imagine Stefano being part of the location. His look was similar to a man from 1400, even what he was wearing and the man I am telling you about is a nice, warm and funny guy with a good taste for food and wine. He gave us the receipt for tiramisu.
Breakfast was a wonderful morning event also. They had this room and terrace so cozy and family air like where they served good coffee, bread, jam and fruits, of course not only that, but those I remember well. Tuscany is not just one “time” stand, like a friend of mine sometimes says: been there, done that. Tuscany is worth being visited over and over again, like some other places on our Planet. And so my long term relationship with the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance begun.
Siena, Florence, Arezzo, only three of the cities that carry with them so much history, culture, art, religion. Siena literally took my breath away at the moment I saw the piazzetta, in Florence I cried tears of happiness and Arezzo caught me smiling! Every year they have a demonstration with horses, one of the most beautiful, intelligent, big and delicate at the same time animals in the world. Arezzo is the city where they filmed La vita e Bella, a movie I like so much.
Every day another wonderful little town or small village with even smaller “piazze” and locals walking by or selling wine, pasta, souvenirs in their shops. One evening we had a Dievole wine and the next we made a short trip to the winery. The trip was extraordinary because we only took the off roads through the vineyards where the nature presented a true spectacle especialy for us.
And this is how I met Tuscany and decided to come back again sometimes and stay at Dievole. There are actually two words in this name, translated by the people from the winery as Gods will. The story about the place called Dievole is worth telling. Two Florentine men bought the Dievole property with 5 coins, 2 breads and 2 gooses… I know the story because we did came back and stayed there this autumn. I like Tuscany at the end of summer beginning of fall. Stay with me to find out more about Tuscany!