Castello del Trebbio

Castello del Trebbio

Summer day out of Florence

Cooking class and wine tasting is the best way to have the perfect Summer day out of Florence. Shall I compare you to a Summer’s day….. out of Florence? Cooking class and wine tasting between the Mugello, Florence, Fiesole and the Valdisieve. I was looking forward to a beautiful Summer day out of Florence aka non-stop weekend on my garden and orchard plot at Larniano in the Mugello which needs much work during the booming season when

Nocino liquor

…and I managed to assemble enough walnuts to make approx. 3 lt of Nocino liquor …

my daughter Carmen called me somewhat alarmed in late June 2016. She was worried that the cooking class and wine tasting off Florence   (view our proposal) booked by one of her clients at the Castello del Trebbio, (not the Medici castle in the Mugello but the one owned by the Pazzi family in the Valdisieve) had been called off to late morning on wed June 29. She’s always very fussy about offering the best to her Mugello&Tuscany clients. So she thought of breaking the news to her Australian client Maureen. As I’m also a certified tourist escort for the Regione Toscana Carmen thought it would be even easier for me. On the other hand in my capacity as head of international exchanges and EU funded projects @ IIS Giotto Ulivi HS in Borgo San Lorenzo,

I usually accompany groups of students and teachers for excursions in Florence, Mugello and Tuscany but this time it was all different.

I woke up early to water Tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, French beans and eggplants and managed to assemble enough walnuts to make approx. 3 lt of Nocino liquor.

Tradition recommends harvesting walnuts for the nocino on 24th June St John the Baptist patron saint of Florence .

however as the season had been unusually cool and wet I thought it was better to wait for a few more days.

Then as I was having  my car washed at the Tamoil service area in San Piero a Sieve just at the foot of the XVI century Medicean fortress, I realized that I was already a bit late. I tried to catch up on via Bolognese but there were roadworks in 2 different sections of the state road 65 with long lines at the traffic lights.


From San Francis church you can enjoy one of the best views of Florence

While waiting in the car I sent a message to Maureen whose number Carmen had already stored in my mobile. Maureen’s reply was quick; she was waiting with her friend Audrey in piazza Adua . Not where I had planned the pickup but the description was so clear that I knew where to find them.

While we were going up Fiesole hill passing by the Bencistà hotel on the large smooth curve on the right, the roadsign pointing to Maiano, immediately reminded me both of the quarry of the prized local sandstone used as a building material for the construction of villas and palaces, not only in Fiesole and surroundings but also throughout the city of Florence since the Middle Ages and the Farm House a real treat combining both the advantages of living in the city of Florence and the surrounding coutryside.

Fiesole caught us almost by surprise in the heat of a beautiful late morning in June.

Maureen and Audrey had already been there at dinner in one of the restaurants. I reckon it was along the steep alley leading to San Francis church. 

from there you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Florence .

It seemed Maureen and Audrey were knowledgeable tourists with a keen spirit of observation and a knack for beautiful things.

They seemed especially interested in the Etruscan origin of Fiesole dating back to the 5th century bc. This interest was triggered by a historian who fictionalizes history to make it more appealing to the general audience.  As I learned afterwards, Maureen in particular was a ravenous reader and was also planning to write a book.

To be continued……..

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