Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And so it begins...

It has taken me awhile to finish this last post. I was unsure how to articulate my feelings. Last week I felt so uneasy and questioning and this week things have swung to the other end of the spectrum. We had a great weekend.

On Saturday I had a great a walk with my lovely downstairs neighbour. I teach her English she teaches me Italian. We walked down the main road from our house and she showed me a lovely path called il Canale Maestro della Chiana. It is a 60 km trail that stretches from Umbria to Arezzo. It is easily accessible from our house and I can hardly wait to take all the children there for a bike ride.

Later Finn and I went for a walk nearby and we saw the olives being harvested. It seemed like a family affair with the signora getting the olives from the low branches. It was so great to see how they are picked. We recently received a bottle of olive oil from the woman who lives on the same property. It was from last years harvest and it was by far the best oil I have ever tasted. It is so fresh, almost grassy in taste. And the children love to dip their pane in it.

In the evening we drove to Florence to meet some friends for dinner. They are Canadian and have lived here for 14 years. They have 3 boys similar in age to our children and they really know their way around Firenze. Mark and I instantly fell in love with Florence. It was just amazing. The buzz of the city, the art, the narrow streets, it was so alive. Molly and Mieran felt the same way and have asked everyday if we can go back. I just love walking the narrow streets and imagining how this is way these streets have been for hundreds of years, minus he whipping mopeds and tiny fiats. It is amazing to see the city buses squeeze down these streets, you have to be very alert.

On Sunday we were invited for lunch downstairs. Our neighbour had a friend, a chef, from Sicily coming by and she invited us to join them. The food was magnificent and we were so full, we could barely move. Afterwards we sat by the fireplace and chatted, it was really a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Monday we decided to drive to Monte San Savino, a town that the area is named after. We really need to get on the Italian schedule. Monday's most of the shops stay closed, but we still really enjoyed walking around the cobblestone streets. Every thing seems so steeped in history, I can't help but have questions, I want to know everything about these places. I really need to find some better books on Italy.

I have been doing some walking in the area and I just love the rolling hills with all the earthy colours. These are the colours that so many paints are named after. I love the terraced gardens the straight lines of olive trees or grapevines. I also love that you can't really tell the new houses from the old, as the architecture seems relatively unchanged.

I can now see how people fall in love with Italy and how people are so inspired that we find paintings of Italy in living rooms and houses all around the world. I am in awe each day of the new things we see and experience, and I am so grateful that we have taken this opportunity and embarked on such an amazing journey.

*Cypress Trees looming overhead.
*Olive Harvest
*Ponte Vecchio towards Duomo at night.
*Monte San Savino
*Rolling hills of Tuscany


  1. Hooray for being inspired and excited about this adventure! So glad the kids are finding new moments and things that thrill them. It sounds like you are landing on your feet, Lorias, as I knew you would. Exploring the towns, dinners with neighbours, it is what you all needed. I love the happening-upon-olive-harvesting. What a must-see for a homeschooling family new to the country. Keep on exploring. Miss and love you all.


  2. I'm so happy the adventure is turning out to be more than you dreamed.

    I love you and miss you all.

    (put a comment on your everydaymary that you've the new site)

    Skype me!