When I told a family friend in Firenze (Florence) that I was returning to Tuscany in mid-March for the Easter holidays, he said, “Marzo Pazzo”! which roughly translates to “Crazy March”. Indeed it was, at least weather-wise. Not knowing quite what to expect from the weather, I packed lots of warm sweaters and a heavy jacket.
Stepping off the airplane in Firenze, the thermometer read only 1 degree Celsius! Surely it wasn’t cold enough to snow, or was it?
My home base was in Celle Sul Rigo, (SI) which was roughly about 50 km south of Siena at Il Poggio. I had a very pleasant stay at Il Poggio in early October and loved the resort’s location and the surrounding medieval villages, so I returned for two weeks this time.
Il Poggio is a fine example of an agriturismo, (also known as a farm stay), with an excellent restaurant and an enoteca (wine shop) with a fantastic selection of pastas, exotic ragus, olive oils and fresh meats from their farm-raised Cinta Senese pigs. Depending on the season, Il Poggio offers a myriad of recreation activities, such as horseback riding on the majestic trails beyond the resort. There are also two lovely pools and a cozy sitting room in the reception area stocked with books and a computer for guest use . Nicely laid out, there are 26 apartments clustered across the property and five bedroom suites in the main reception building.
My one bedroom “appartamente” was decorated in “Tuscan Povera” style and was fondly called Febo di Tara, named after one of Il Poggio’s famed Arabian horses. The appartamente was absolutely perfect!
The bedroom was quite large with tall wooden shutters that opened to views of the vast rolling hills to the east. The bathroom was spacious, with all the funny European plumbing fixtures. And, to keep warm, there was a wood burning fireplace and several radiator boiler heaters in each room. For the nights that I did not feel like eating at the restaurant, there was a fully stocked kitchen with a small refrigerator. The living room was not huge, but there was a nice big wooden table in the open dining area and more shuttered windows that overlooked the bucolic hills beyond.
What more could anyone want I thought as I flung open the heavy wood shutters inviting the crisp Spring air and the sound of the nearby church bells inside?
I was at peace, once again, in Bella Toscana!!! My journey was about to begin….
Ding, dong, ding dong, ding dong….