July went by so fast! Before we know it fall will be upon us, to hard to belive.
Sharing some of july’s best insta photos. Including both a trip to Italy and to Spain. And some amazing sunsets back in Norway.
Happy mondays and August.
Agriturismo is a chance to be able to live more like the local. Often in a local farmhouse not to far from a small town also known as a rural retreat. Many people opt for this chance as I have a couple of times. This year in Radda in chianti, Tuscany. Agriturismo often is classified as a farmhouse but not necessarily at a real farm at least not in Italy, but you will find many italian agriturismos at wine farms.
Our house was just an old farmhouse now converted into holiday apartments. Campo agli olivi has three apartments to let. One in the main building (where we stayed, this is the bigger one) and two in the oldest farm building which dates back to the 1300th. All three apartments are for 2/4 person as they all have 2 bedrooms. All apartments also come with their own private outer area and a common pool area.
The city center of Radda is up the hill 200 meters. In a good distance to both the mandatory gelato store and the many restaurants. The location is perfect in this matter.
This year my whole family were traveling together. The whole shebang. All 7, divided in to two groups we had two apartments. We got the big one called Oliva apartment.
On the day of arrival we was greeted by Nise, who runs the place. She lives on the upper floor of our apartment with her mother – la patron. Her mother a super cute Italian mama, who gave us her whole life story – IN ITALIAN!. Did I mention that my italiano is poco? But none the less, I managed to understand that she was a widow, for over 40 years and raised her two little girl all by her self with no family.
She told us that family is very important and that I should definitely get married – any time soon (this part is where my boyfriend cringes and my parents cry of laughter and nods in agreement) In addition to these things she also tells us how her beloved husband dies and that she just had an accident and ruined all of her teeth – W.O.W I guess my Italian is not that shabby after all.
I enjoyed my stay here for our fortnight but I have a few reservations that made the experience a little less enjoyable.
As I said we were traveling together 7 people and one of them, a girl of 8 years. No need to say that she loved the pool area and would, if allowed be living in the water day and night. Children make noise, especially when playing. As do grown ups. I do not consider us a noisy group and we behaved well – not staying up all night, or making any uncomfortable with loud fights or such things.
Still me managed to get hushed by, not only once but several times – mostly by the pool area.
And the first story we got from the owner was that the previous “camper” have had 2 children that were all over and being noisy and difficult. How do you respond to that?
My understanding after visiting is more like – they don’t have children of their own and may have forgotten that children make noise. Good noise, when playing. If this is such a big annoyance to them they probably should state so, that children is not wanted in their apartments.
To be honest the neighbors dog made more and more often noise than we did. My parents have visited this apartments two years earlier and were quite shocked by the hushing and the unwillingness of the play. My sister got hushed to for splashing to loud! T.
So to be said – if you are a couple in need of a quiet little place, this might be it. If you have children stay clear! If I ever go back to Radda I will never stay at this place again given the behavior of the owners. I would rather look into some of the hotels up i town. It looked like there were many nice ones there.
Today is the first of two palios held in Siena, Italy. A palio is horse race held twice a year. July 2nd and August 16th. 10 horses with their riders riding them bareback in their local colors. 10 of 17 “districts” are represented at ill palio in a race tree times around the piazza del campo. This normally do not last more than 90 sec.
Before the race there is a spectaculare pageant, the corteo storico which I got to experience. Which includes flag wavers and drummers in medevial costumes. They parade through the streets with the horse and following the crowds from each districs singing loud songs. Much like at a soccer game.
We packed our bags and headed for Florence for a few nights. Our hotel of choice was this time Villa Olmi Resort. It is located about 4km outside the city center but the hotel offers free shuttle bus to and from the city center. If you choose to go by taxi it is about € 20-30 (june,2014)
Villa Olmi is a beautiful 4 star resort wich includes a villa, a farmhouse and a rural house set in a big beautiful garden.
They served an intercontinental breakfast but ours were not included in the total price. This is also where they serve lunch and dinner. The resort has a small swimmingpool with lovely sourroundings not to far away from the bar.
Every room has its own private bubblebath that left you wonderful relaxed before bedtime. Nice hotel rooms but they were not sound proof and much of the sounds around came through and were disturbing.
All in all a great stay if only a little closer to town and a little less noise.
For Mr. Grumphy’s 40th birthday I booked some well deserved spa time for the both of us ofcourse. Found this lovely little resort and spa hotel only 10 minutes drive from Radda in Chianti. Perfect. A 4 star hotel in lovely sourrondings. So in spite of not getting the massages together I didn’t mind waiting around.
They charge aboute €75 for a full hour massage and have a big variety of spa choices. From the single manicure and face treatment to fully body massages. So well worth the trip down this valley.
This is also a fully operating hotel so you may take a weekend here for ypur own well beeing or just to relax. Prices are from €140 a nigth ( all prices from june 2014)
Sometimes getting of the highway and just taking a random day trip can lead you to the most amazing places. Pierla in Tuscany was one such treasure for me.
On a whim we got in the car to take a ride in the country side. Having read on signs showing to some Pierle Castle we tok a day trip. The small village of Pierle lays only some few miles away from Cortona located in a green Pierle valley. The small country road to the village is exactly that – small and very pretty. Giving you the amazing views over Cortonas countryside.
I am not sure what I expected when arriving to this castle but nothing like this. The castle is not that big but with some imagination you could easily see how it was back in its glory. Kinda makes me think of game of thrones. This could very easily be one of its sets. The village was so tiny – and its houses surround the castle with tiny streets.
This is an ideal place to seek and find tranquillity and peace. And for all of you who like some good history. This castle got it.
We were here all alone not counting a couple of dogs or cats. There are a couple of agriturismo properties just outside the village it self. I could easily see myself spending a night and two there to enjoy the views even better.
Goes to tell you. You never know what you will find when you go on the road less travelled. You should try it sometime.