After spending ten days immersed in the wine country of Tuscany, Italy, I have etched every moment, vivid and alive, in my memory, and stored every sensory experience, acute and vital, in my heart.
My senses were sharpened, like a chef’s knife, once my worries and obligations of home in Sonoma receded into the background. Every sound, smell, touch I experienced in Italy, only made my appetite for life greater.
In San Gennaro, Lucca, in the tiny, little village in which we stayed, I could hear the soft church bells in the distance, smell the freshly brewed espresso coming from the only ristorante down the street, and feel the cobblestones under my feet as we walked the narrow alley ways with fresh flowers in the window baskets. Come evening, I would breathe in the aroma of a fine Fabiano red wine and fall into the flavors of their famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
My husband and I walked the cobble stone streets for miles and miles, and visited the medieval Roman towns of Lucca, Siena, Portovenere, Greve in Chianti, Florence and Pisa and watched the hustle and bustle of not only the tourists, but of the Italian locals shopping for fresh ingredients for their dinner each night.
When it comes to beauty, the Italian people embody it. Everywhere you look, feel, taste, touch and see, there are fine fashions, beautiful people, delicious wines, exquisite food, historical treasures, architectural delights and art masterpieces to behold.
Italy is, in a few words, a feast for the senses. I could not stop eating their fine foods, drinking their exquisite wines, walking the Roman streets, or marveling at their art. In Florence, I stood in the presence of mystical magnificence at the Accademia and Uffizi Gallery. I simply, could not take my eyes off Caravaggio‘s Bacchus God of Wine, Michelangelo’s David, nor Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
I came home with a deepened appreciation for my husband, my family, for beauty found right here in the wine country. My life here in Sonoma–it is a lot like Tuscany, where I grow fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables in my own garden. I too, can stroll down long country roads with vineyard rows everywhere, and have picnics with fresh bread, a delicious Chianti and imported salami and cheeses.
Tuscany is a slice of heaven and so is home, here in Sonoma, where I can practice the simple life in a more meaningful way.
Just outside my window, the vineyard buds are about to open right before my very eyes.