The chirping birds behind me seemed to be begging for crumbs as I started on my second pastry. Just then, the omelets and hot cocoa emerged from the kitchen, heralded by the delicious aroma of freshly made food. After what seemed like an eternity of breakfast, I stood and walked across the yard to the gorgeous view of the vineyards, olive groves, and hilltops that covered the land. A white peacock strutted past, obviously looking for leftovers, as doves glided through the sky. This was the Italian lifestyle.
We discovered the joys of living like Italians when we found the Agriturismo Savernano. Agriturismos are small working farms, the equivalent of American bed-and-breakfasts, in the Italian hill country. While there is not much to do in the small town of Regello, Figline is a small town 5 minutes down the road with a train station, from which you can go just about anywhere in Italy. Florence is close by and has wonderful shopping, and there is also an outlet mall nearby that has Gucci, Prada, and other high-end stores for those who are willing to spend money. There are renowned vineyards and wineries everywhere.
We had a hard time choosing from the dozens of little hill towns nearby for wonderful daytrips. We loved the small town charm of Volterra, where fans of the Twilight series can see all the sights filmed in the movie. We missed Siena’s Palio, a series of horse races held in July and August each year, but managed to catch some of the interesting pre-race activities. The different sections of the city each had a marching-band-like group of people out around the city wearing the flag colors of their section. We also roamed Montepulciano, Greve and San Gimignano, more hill towns with beautiful views and very good food.
On the topic of food, while the Agriturismo itself is a wonderful base to relax at after a beautiful day of sightseeing in Tuscany with its lovely vineyard, peacocks and exotic birds across the yard, goats that frolic by a beautiful lake, and of course a swimming pool on the absolutely gorgeous grounds with their stunning porch views, the best part of the Agriturismo is the food. Every day brings a new homemade meal (with dessert). The host family makes sure that their guests aren’t able to walk out. Perhaps they think if they feed their guests enough, then the guests can’t leave. If so, it works — the food is so good that we tried to kidnap the owner/chef. She even made me the most amazing birthday cake, a homemade, unbelievably fabulous almond cake. All of the Italians have a way with food, however, so it is never a problem finding good food.
So obviously the Agriturismo is the best vacationing place in Italy. It’s the perfect getaway for those trying to escape the “real” world for a while. It’s the true Italian experience.
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