Sunday, March 5, 2017

We can never have enough of Toscana

7 Days in Toscana – Italy

Toscana is fascinating, exhilarating, exciting, energizing, rejuvenating, motivating, and inspiring. Toscana is truly PRICELESS to anyone who takes the time to enjoy one of the greatest treasures Italy offers to the world!

If you want to create not 7, but 70 times 7 memories, then visit Toscana. Spending these 7 days in Toscana was just a preamble for spending the month of October there in the future.

Here are the 7 highlights from the unforgettable 7 days in Toscana:

1.    People
You can find all kinds of people in Italy, just like in any other part of the world. Yes, you can find from nice and polite young people to grumpy old men sitting around the parks complaining about life and government. Italians are very friendly and helpful in providing information to strangers. I love to hear and pronounce their names. The names in Italians sound really sweet to our ears. Here are some of the names of people I met: Giulio, Alessandro, Irene, Paolo, Pietro, Giovanni, i Roberta.

2.    Food
Italy is at the top of the world when it comes to enjoying a meal. I am bias towards the foods starting with p:  Paste, Pizze, Pomodori, Presciutti, Pane, Polente i Polli. My favorite this time was the polenta con cinghiale. Black olives gave a special touch to this typical northern Italian food. Eating in Italy is truly a Priceless experience. Of course, everything tastes better with a glad of red wine.

3.    Land
The lands and landscapes are fascinating and high quality nourishment for the eyes, the mind and the soul. Montagne, valli i pianure, pieni di vigneti, olive, pini, rosmarino i alloro. On a walk down the mountain to the city, I stopped to talk with a 90 year old man, pruning his olive trees. Exchanging words with the Nonno reminded of my own grandfather pruning grapevines. The views from those mountains are breathtaking and the air is fresh with the aroma the abundant bay leaf trees. I could not help, and often stop to pluck an alloro leaf, crush it with my fingers and smell it.

4.    Language
Italians don’t just speak, they also sing while talking. There is so much beauty in this romantic language. If you know Italian you can notice not only the different accents but also the different dialects spoken by Italians from different provinces of Italy. Of course, I had to buy 7 books in Italian so I can further improve this beautiful language.

5.      Cities
The 7 cities visited were: Milano, Montecatini Terme, Firenze, Cinque Terre, Lucca, San Gimigniano i Siena. My two favorites were Siena and Firenze. Historical cities are full of stores for all kinds of shoppers. It is amazing how one can quickly fall into the buying mood and spend euros like it is a cheap currency. By the way, I found Italy to be inexpensive to Americans at this time in history. With the price of Starbucks coffee in USA one can get 3 coffees just about anywhere in Toscana. All the coffees and gelati are great. Seems like the Italians know how to keep the best for themselves and export the remaining to the world.

6.      History
If there is something for everyone in Toscana, can you imagine in the whole country of Italy? From architecture to art, and that includes food, it is a daily fascinating adventure to visit so many places with so much history visible to the common eye. Walking on those narrow streets, on stones that have been laid there for thousands years, gives one a sense of wonder on whom may have walked on those iron stones before. The chiese and cattedrali or duomi makes one think how shallow, or even ignorant, we have become over the course of history.

7.      Automobiles
Italians also love their automobiles. The range goes from the Fiat 500, the little car that brought more freedom to the Italian donne in the 1960’s. Home of the great auto brands that end with the letter i: Maserati, Ferrari, Bugatti i Lamborghini. Guess all the clunkers are taken out of circulation and recycled since I only saw a few roaming the streets.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust"

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious"

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful , can't wait to join you for a visit there!