Tuscany, Italy

This post was originally published on January 19, 2014 and updated on January 7, 2020.

Happy new year! Wow, 2013 was a fast, fantastic, eventful year. I have much to reflect upon and be happy about. And, I’m looking forward to 2014. I hope you are, too.

You’ve noticed, surely, that the name and the look of this blog has changed dramatically! I’m very excited about the changes. I named it after my first book, A Travel for Taste – Collected Czech Family Recipes. It’s still available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions, by the way.I am currently working on the next book in the same series, this time featuring German family recipes. Of course, I’ll keep you posted about when that one is available.

The updated blog name and appearance are part of my 2014 effort to focus more on the writing, photography and other work I want to do, as opposed to what I have to do. Help me out by subscribing to this blog and forwarding the link to people you know who might appreciate my stories and photos. I appreciate all of your attention!

Because ole ’13 was so busy for me, I haven’t posted much in the last few months. But I DO have lots to post about for I was up to the travels again. I know I promised you Munich Christmas markets as my next post, but that was before I realized I was not going to be able to post anything before Christmas. So I’ll save that for when it’s more timely.

Now, I’ll take you with me on part of my December trip to Tuscany, which did not disappoint. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know I was in Tuscany last May for a fantastic dream vacation with my husband and our friends Carmela and Ivan. We loved it so much we went there again with another couple in December, just a week before Christmas. If dream vacations can be improved upon, this was it.

That one week seemed like so much more time, with daytrips, shopping trips, cooking classes and an ongoing stream of fabulous wines and eats. We stayed at Fattoria di Corsignano, the agriturismo where we stayed in May. As with all agriturismi (Did you see what I did there? Used the Italian plural, I did!), it’s a working estate that produces its own wine and olive oil in addition to offering sleeping and eating accommodations to the likes of us. The owners, Elena and Mario, really outdid themselves in providing us an amazing, memorable stay.

The one photo I took that pretty much sums up the entire trip has to be this one:

Unless, of course, it’s this one:

We had booked a five-night package and everything was taken care of, from rides to/from the Florence airport to meals to cooking classes to chauffeured daytrips and everything in between.

We boarded a plane in Munich,

… flew across the Alps,

… and were met at the airport by Marco. I love it when handsome men are looking for me!

Marco drove us to Corsignano, near Siena, where we were met by the staff and where, I might add, we were the only guests. It was the week before Christmas and I highly recommend this time of year for something like this because it is not crowded. We did have to make sure the people and events were available before booking because of the holiday season, however, so do your homework in advance if you go.

What followed is one of the most enjoyable, memorable weeks of my life. I can’t wait to tell you more about our adventures and experiences in future posts!

I’m convinced I am destined to live in Tuscany. The golden light is phenomenal and everywhere you look is truly a picture-postcard. It’s nearly impossible to take a bad picture. To demonstrate how stunning and changing the Tuscan countryside is, take a look at this series of shots from our bedroom window several mornings in a row at approximately the same time:

Next time I’ll introduce you to a small wine estate near Montalcino that produces extraordinary rosso and brunello. Stay tuned!

Photo for No Apparent Reason: