We made it back home in about 30 hours… Wow! Very tiring, but happy to be back.
The day before we left, a local gave us a tour of a private castello (castle) that dates back to the 10th century. Parts of it were destroyed and/or damaged and reconstructed over the centuries and it was at the center of a farming community. It sits on the highest point between Florence and Siena, which made it a strategic location throughout history. One can see for miles in all directions from the top of the high tower. The current owners’ family purchased the property in the late 1800s. They make their own wine, olive oil and honey. Also on the grounds was a Romanesque church from the same time period- I thought the old wooden doors and stone walls were beautiful with the dappled light coming through the adjacent oak forest.
I snapped the poppies with beautiful background on my way back to our hotel after lunch yesterday… if only this was my view at home! The sepia tone below is inside an ancient abbey that just begs to be shot in black and white!
Today we were actually in Siena- I hope to get a shot or two from our participants for my next post! Siena is one of my favorite days on our trip… We have a terrific guide to take us to some of the most important sites and tell us all about the history of Siena.
In Siena, the Palio is their most important “festa” all year long and occurs twice, once in July and once in August. The city becomes a different place during these two events and the rest of the year revolves around the Palio. We are looking into basing a photography workshop at the Palio for 2012… Very exciting!
Ciao for now.
In Siena, everyone hangs their laundry on dry sunny days. Today was absolutely gorgeous and there was laundry everywhere!
It is very early in the year for the farmers to cut hay, but this was freshly cut… amazing scenery, but not a lot of color. I thought it made for a nice black and white.
Gelati today in Siena and a delicious zuppa di farro e fagioli (bean and wheat berry soup), and pici al aglioni (fresh local pasta with garlic tomato sauce) for dinner… Mmmmm!
We arrived yesterday afternoon and fought the jet lag to stay up late enough in the evening to “reset” ourselves. We had a light dinner of fresh pasta and salad at one of our favorite restaurants and a good night’s sleep.
Today we spent the day driving some of the back roads to scout our shooting locations. Although the Tuscan scenery changes little, it is always beautiful and amazes us so! The sheep are not so smart, but very cute! And their milk makes very tasty local cheese…
For dinner this evening, we cooked fresh ravioli tartufo (truffle filled ravioli) and asparagi (asparagus) from the local market… Mmmm! Tomorrow, Montepulciano and Montalcino.
Ciao for now!
Thinking about our May Villages of Tuscany tour, I was inspired to cook Tuscan last night… For our “Primi Piati” I made a traditional country Zuppa di Cavolo con Fagioli (Cabbage Soup with Beans), with crusty garlic bread in the bottom of the bowl. For our “Secondi Piatti” I made Zucchini Farcito (Stuffed Zucchini), and for “Dolci” (desert), Caffe in Forchetta (Coffee on a Fork- a coffee flavored custard). Mmmm, Buon Appetito!
We drank a nice California wine that went very well with the soup and the zucchini…
It’s always fun to taste a bit of culture before you go somewhere!
FYI- We still have room in our March 19th Digital Photo Basics Workshop in Scottsdale!