Tuscany

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DSC03676“Life offers you a thousand chances… all you have to do is take one”
-Frances Mayes author of Under The Tuscan Sun

My vision of Tuscany in my mind before we landed in Pisa was of dusky sunsets, rolling hills with beautiful villas and olive trees rolling on across the horizon. I felt that was the movie version of what to expect but what I soon found out was that it was very much real life.

Our journey from rainy ol’ London to our beautiful Tuscan getaway was smooth but varied. We soared about the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa before taking a rolling sauna coach to Florence where we traded the roads for the rails and headed of to the seclusion of Borgo Sant’Ambrogio.

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The weekend was a working one, I was a guest of Italian Eye Events which was hosting their annual Kaleidotour. A collection of some of London’s biggest Instagrammers, Bloggers and Food Lovers combined with a host of sponsors who were providing us with incredible food, drinks and experiences to capture and share.

The resort is a paradise in the Tuscan hills, our room was a small apartment with soaring ceilings, rustic fixtures and a view that rivaled any other hotel I’ve ever been in. The grounds looked straight from a movie and as the sun set each night turned into a magical heaven where the pink and oranges of the rustic buildings seemed to be warmer and more inviting.

Our first full day started with an amazing array of baked treats and the richest and most decadent hot chocolate I’ve ever had from Hasslachers. After we recovered from such a delicious start to the day we all strapped on helmets ready to roll off on our Vespa parade. Or so we thought.

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Much to our dismay our Vespa Tour providers weren’t so confident in the driving abilities of any of those signed up to drive but after a few practice runs, some nervous laughter and confident smiles we were off rolling along the dirt trails around the resort before hitting the highway to visit the nearby church, San Biagio.

I highly reccommend taking a vespa tour, even though I didn’t drive, it was still a fascinating way to see the countryside and a real beautiful opportunity to feel the Tuscan sun while zipping through olive and wine trees!

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After our grand tour was finished we meandered down to a lakeside picnic in the shade, a perfect setting for sandwiches, wine and a nap to be honest! But there was no time for napping as we were heading straight for a cake decorating class hosted by The Flower Society out of London.

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Armed with flowers, blank cakes and Pastiglie Leone candies, the tables were a flurry of petals and cake and the results were actually quite impressive! Nothing compared to the perfection that fellow guest Lily Vanilli showed up with, it was so pretty that I don’t think anyone actually cut into it!

Day two began with a surprise breakfast from Tini Ferragamo and Michael from Symmetry Breakfast, it was a mindtrick of a breakfast but incredibly tasty. Following the food trend we rolled up our sleeves and got to work making our own loaves of chocolate and savoury biscotti with Fratelli Lundardi.  Before this trip I’d never been much of a biscotti fan but I don’t think anything can compare with a strong coffee and fresh slice of sage and lemon biscotti from the oven.

We’d spent the better part of the last two days feasting on delicious food, enjoying cocktails at every turn and sampling the cookies, cakes, and treats on every table so it was only fitting that we wrapped up the day with a peaceful yoga session overlooking the tuscan hillsides. Adam Husler’s class was both challenging but relaxing and I felt like the hour long class passed way too quickly, I could have napped and meditated on that mat for an hour more at least, but we were off to a visiting resort for a goodbye pizza party!

Our final day was a flurry of goodbyes, see you soons, and more food. We packed our bags full of biscotti and sweets, olive oil and souvenirs from the weekend. I shot a staged wedding in the last few hours of our stay and it was magical. The purple wisteria and rustic walls of the villa provided such a beautiful canvas and the entire staging was magazine perfect, I can’t wait to share the final images soon!

The tuscan weekend getaway was short but definitely sweet! If you are ever looking for a beautiful vacation spot, wedding location or place to just sit and enjoy you should absolutely check out Borgo Sant’Ambrogio, you’ll be in your own movie the entire time you’re there. Huge thanks to Angela and Olivia for such an incredible weekend with new friends!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Paola says:

    Thank you Joel, your pictures are so warm, silent and nostalgic…This second #kaleidotour was a another brilliant occasion to learn more about beauty !

    Like

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