Instalatly @nettmunk

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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.

Stay: Campo agli olivi, Radda in Chianti, Tuscany

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.

the main building

the main building

by night - apartment giardino

by night – apartment Giardino and the entrance coming from Radda town

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.

apartment Oliva the sitting room entrance/exit

apartment Oliva the sitting room entrance/exit

Kitchen area

Kitchen area

a huge living room with its own library and a big dining table - would love to have this one at home

a huge living room with its own library and a big dining table – would love to have this one at home

sitting area, been updated with a new leather sofa

sitting area, been updated with a new leather sofa

our bedroom - one of two. The second one has two single beds

our bedroom – one of two. The second one has two single beds

pool area - not heated but still good on a warm day

pool area – not heated but still good on a warm day

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.

Radda view

This is the town of Radda seen from the pool area of Campo Agli Olivi and the area with the parasols is Apartment Terrazza

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.

Entrance Apartment Oliva

Entrance Apartment Oliva

Oliva comes with a secluded outdoor space - beware of the sprinklers that come on at early morning/night - everything gets soaked

Oliva comes with a secluded outdoor space – beware of the sprinklers that come on at early morning/night – everything gets soaked

 

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.

Pool area by night - enlighten

Pool area by night – enlighten

campo agli olivi

the entrance coming from town

the entrance coming from town

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.

 

 

Palio – Siena

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.

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Here seen with all their flags. Different flag for different part of the city

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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.

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Here are the houses of tortuga and panthera. You can really feel the dedicatons from each district. A serious matter.

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Stay: Villa Olmi Resort, Florence

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.

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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.

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Heart and soul… A wellness day

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.

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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)

The road less travelled

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.

Pierle Castle and its surrounding village

Pierle Castle and its surrounding village

This is the ruin of Pierle Castl. Abandoned since the year 1587

This is the ruin of Pierle Castle. Abandoned since the year 1587

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.

Pierla watertap

Pierla watertap

Pierla

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.

an old doorway

an old doorway

a few houses of a total of many 20

a few houses of a total of many 20 surrounding the castle

Making new friends

Making new friends

Cortona

Bilde

A wiew of Cortona from our pool

Har du lest, under the tuscan sun med Frances Meyes? Denne boken (og filmen) handler om en forfatter som reiser fra alt i USA og flytter til Italia, nærmere bestemt til Cortona for å finne tilbake til sitt liv. Lite viste jeg at da jeg så filmen for ca 10 år siden at jeg ville besøke “hennes” by.

Og hvilken by. Jeg er helfrelst. Elsker de to ukene vi hadde her i sommer.

Bilde

Cortona, town square

Cortona er en liten by lokasert i Toscana i provinsen Arezzo. Den ligger på en høyde og ble etablert av Etruskerne for over 3000 år siden, som en av de eldste byene i Italia. Byen er et kulturellt og artistisk senter.

At det ble akkurat denne byen som ble vårt hovedmål for ferie 2013 var helt tilfeldig. Vi leide oss et lite feriehus i utkanten av byen. Slik ble det Cortona for oss.

La Capaninna - our beautiful rental house

La Capaninna – our beautiful rental house

la capaninna - with pool view

la capaninna – with pool view

Siden vi skulle være her i hele 2 uker fant vi ut at vi ville ha en base som vi kunne bevege oss ut ifra. Og La Capaninna i Camucia ble vår i hele 2 uker. Ikke minst ble det slik fordi jeg har et stort ønske om å eie mitt eget her i Italia, og dette ble en flott sjanse til å sjekke ut om det funket for oss. And boy did it ever…. hehe

Camucia ligger rett nedenfor Cortona, ca 10 min kjøring med bil. Vi hadde hele Cortona som utsikt utenfor vårt hus. Det var kjempe flott. Du kan riktig kalle dette for et hus med A view..

Byen ligger på en bakketopp og det er umulig å parkere i byen. Men de har store parkeringsplasser rett utenfor bymurene, slik at dersom du kommer med bil finnes det alltid en parkering. Vi hadde iallefall ingen problemer. Når det er sagt var vi midt i juni og turistsesongen er da heller ikke på sitt verste. Når du er i byen er det mye du kan finne på. Vi var som sagt i hele 2 uker og ble absolutt ikke lei av byen i det hele tatt. Faktisk ville jeg mer enn gjerne ha reist tilbake hit på ny tur. Cortona kan tilby museum, flotte spiseplasser, ikke minst gelato. Vi var heldige og det var arrangement nesten hver kveld vi besøkte byen.

la capaninna - with pool view

la capaninna – with pool view

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One of the small shops in Cortona – local food and wine

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Pick something nice to nibble at for lunch

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One of the side streets, locals have small arts shops on almost every corner

Fresh made gelato from snoopie gelataria

Fresh made gelato from snoopie gelataria

 

A smal local shop with local wine and food

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Be sure to catch the Maec Museum – all of Cortonas local history. It is a must

Church of saint Margareta

Church of saint Margareta

Som de fleste andre små byer i Italia har Cortona sitt utvalg av kirker. Vi fikk bare besøkt denne som ligger helt oppe på toppen. Du kan spasere opp til kirken via byen, men ta med deg godt med vann da det er en bratt tur til topps.

The path leading from Cortona to the church of Saint Margareta

The path leading from Cortona to the church of Saint Margareta

Den hellige Margareta av Cortona er Byens skytshelgen. Samme dag som hun døde i 1297, ble hun offentlig erklært som helgen, og borgerne i Cortona begynte samme år å bygge en kirke til hennes ære på det stedet der hun døde. De fransiskanske observantene fikk ansvaret for kirken på slutten av 1300-tallet og bygde et kloster i tilknytning til den. Den orginale kirken eksisterer ikke idag men det er bygget opp en ny kirke til ære for henne og du finner hennes kropp i et glass skrin ved høyalteret.