Thursday, November 17, 2016

San Gusme, Tuscany

On our third day in Italy, we actually had an open day as we weren’t sure yet how we wanted to spend it. One option was to drive about an hour west to the coast and visit Cinque Terre, a gorgeous outcropping of “five lands” sitting on Italy’s Riviera. The other option was meeting up with our family again and visiting the area of Tuscany they were staying in. We opted for option two and were so glad we did!

We packed up like the day before and headed south about two hours to where they were staying in the Chianti Region. The cousins were excited to be back together again! The property where my sister's family was staying was beautiful with a large yard, hammock for simply soaking in the surrounds, chimenea for cozy nights, all within a grove of Cypress trees on a large winery estate. My sister and her family were also traveling with two friends who had a house next door and it was great to visit with them, too!
Spending the day at my sister's rental - a beautiful way to spend time in Tuscany

We drove about five miles from their place into this perfect little Tuscan town called San Gusme. It was like stepping back in time because I’m sure nothing has changed here over the centuries. San Gusme was comprised of alley-ways and tiny “streets” with billowing flower boxes brightening up each lane. We really couldn't believe how picture perfect this place was.

We found a little restaurant once we passed through the archway of the tiny village and it was quite an experience! The owner was very welcoming and within a few minutes hauled a large table able to accommodate a party our size to the cobblestone sidewalk outside. Our waiter seated us and seemed happy at his large American party as we were the only ones dining for a bit! After our drink order was taken and delivered we realized our waiter was gone for a bit. We then saw him quickly walking around the corner with a large brown bag stuffed with baguettes of bread, clearly fresh from the bakery! Within a few minutes the bread was sliced and set out on our table in baskets. We all marveled over the authenticity of this experience! We had to then inform him of my kids’ food allergies. I told him I packed a lunch for them so he would not wonder why they weren’t eating his food. He wouldn’t hear of it. I shared my allergy cards I had printed out in Italian before we left home and he completely understood. He insisted on making everything safe for them to eat or at least having an alternative. I was so thrilled that my kids would actually get to try spaghetti in Italy!!! Our meal took a few hours with many courses, all local and authentic to Tuscany. It was a real treat in that my kids could participate as well and I’m so thankful for that.
Dining on authentic Italian food - they were thrilled!

We then headed back to my sister and brother-in-law’s place and left the kids with their nanny they had brought along who also happened to be the niece of the friends they were traveling with. The kids had a great time playing back at the house with their cousins while us adults went about a mile down the dirt road to the winery for a tasting and adult time. We all left with a few bottles of wine en route to the US as well as some olive oil they produce. It was the perfect end to a perfect day!