Ah, Tuscany

(Emily) Can’t say we sorry to leave the hostel in Siena – it had served its purpose but was pretty dire! Left in fog (here we go again) but it lifted enough for us to admire the absolutely stunning Tuscan hills we were riding through. Even the inevitable rain didn’t put us off, though it probably helped to know that we were on our way to an Agriturismo (farm based accommodation with local produce) for a couple of nights, courtesy of Jack for our wedding present!!

It was just drying up went we stopped in at Montepulciano (a town I had heard of – we often get that wine at Pizza Express!!!) which, despite me having a few hairy moments on the wet cobbles, was a gorgeously characterful maze of steep winding streets culminating in a faded grand square (that looked quite wild west – think Butch Cassidy, or so James thought.) Turns out they had done some filming of the Twilight movie here so Jessica was suitably excited! We took a lot of photos from the church tower (if there’s a tower, Jack’s going up it!) – there were dramatic scenes as sun lit up the building facades whilst ominous black clouds loomed overhead.

Inexplicably, the storm clouds disappeared that afternoon and we wound our way through the hills to the Agriturismo in sunshine – quite a novelty for Jess! We turned up in time to have a glass of wine on the terrace in the glow of the setting sun (much needed after negotiating the steep gravel drive to the house). The place was owned and run by the charming Caterina, a beautiful young Italian woman, whose capabilities also stretched to the kitchen – she cooked us up an absolute treat that evening, accompanied with fantastic wine they produced themselves. Thank you, Jackson!!!

On Thursday we just made a short trip to the small town of Orvieto (often cited in Italy guidebooks as a must-see) which boasted a stunning cathedral, outside of which Jack demanded the obligatory jumping photo; quite a spectacle for onlookers as it took about ten attempts on the self-timer… Jack had ambitious ideas to go further afield but the forecast wasn’t great (and let’s face it, the agriturismo was not a bad place to hang out) so we headed home in the rain to cosy up, play more whist (something of an addiction developing there!) and enjoy another fantastic meal. Hard times!

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