After falling ill in the Slovenian seaside town of Piran, the girls and I soldiered on. We still ate at the seaside restaurants, walked the tiny lanes and climbed the hill. Before we knew it, it was time to hit the road again. Sadly, we left this gem of a village, hoping we'd return again one day. Slovenia is such an amazing country, I don't understand why it's not more popular.
We drove to Italy, our first stop - Bologna. Why Bologna? Well, the kids love spaghetti Bolognese and the area where Bologna is is famous for its food - balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, parmesan - it all comes Emilia Romagna. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived in Bologna the girls and I were really unwell. My face was swollen, my eyes were bright red - every time I looked in the mirror I scared myself, I looked like a vampire. The girls didn't look much better, I was scared that we frighten everyone.
Still, we soldiered on and walked through the centre of Bologna and it's beautiful terraces. We stopped into a trattoria and ordered tagliatelle al ragu (or as we know it, spaghetti bolognese) and a glass of Sangiovese for the adults. We were served by a stereotypical Italian man who made the kids laugh despite their illness. Feeling slightly revived we stumbled back to our hotel for another night of chills and fever.
The next morning we set of for TUSCANY! We rented an apartment in a tiny hilltop village in Chianti. Rolling hills covered in vineyards. Sunlight that kissed the green hills with a certain magic. Every window had an amazing view. As Skip said: "It's just a hill with trees. I've seen lots of hills with trees, but there's something so beautiful about this." The sunlight has to the magic ingredient.
We spent the next six days exploring the hillside towns in Chianti, visiting Florence, Siena, Pisa and San Gimignano and soaking up every minute of Tuscany. We drank Chianti Classico, we ate pasta and prosciutto and honey and olives. Everything tasted so good. Slowly the girls and I got a little better and could enjoy it all a little more. It think the gelato that we indulged in regularly definitely helped with our recovery. We visited villages and castles and marvelled at their beauty and their age. We were amazed at how friendly everyone was.
Those six days in Italy were really magical. It's so different to where we live in Dubai. We made sure that we soaked in every single moment. Our last day we visited San Gimignano again, the guide books laugh at this Tuscan town for being 'touristy' but it's such an exquisitely beautiful spot. The stone towers and the panoramic views were the perfect spot to end our Tuscan visit.
To be continued….
|Staring at the view in San Gimignano.|
|A shop full of delicious things in Greve in Chianti, |
with the standard wild boar perched out the front.
|Walking the streets of Greve in Chianti under the Tuscan sun.|
|The gorgeous view from our apartment, the lights of Florence appeared |
every night like magic in the distance.