Becoming Mrs Robertson: Our 2nd anniversary in Tuscany
As we all melt in the UK heatwave, my thoughts are taken straight back to this time last month when we celebrated our second wedding anniversary in the beautiful Tuscan sunshine. Italy is a place I’ve long been keen to explore, with a list as long as my arm of parts of the beautiful country I want to visit. So, our wedding anniversary seemed the ideal time to take our first trip.
When I came across Fonte de Medici (www.fontedemedici.it), I think I probably leapt around a little as it’s everything I imagine Tuscany to be – rustic old farmhouse buildings surrounded by nothing but rolling hillsides and the occasional similar building in the far distance. Reading up on it, the village dates back to 1400 and is in the heart of the Chianti Classico wine region and so those rolling hillsides are crammed full of vineyards. Sounds like a dream!
We took a four-night trip to Fonte de Medici, flying in to Pisa and hiring a fabulous Italian Fiat 500 car for our adventure. One of our shared dreams is to take a driving holiday through Italy or France and so we thought we would sample what that would be like on this trip. As soon as we landed at Pisa, we collected our car and drove the short five minutes to the must-see landmark of the Leaning Tower. Wow. You simply can’t compute that this oh-so-famous, quirky building is right there in front of you and in the middle of the quietest residential streets (we arrived on a Sunday late afternoon). We grabbed our first Italian ice cream (lush!) and marvelled at this beautiful building before jumping back in Freddie (…the Fiat 500) and taking the hour or so drive to our base.
Mr Robertson had been nervous of driving in Italy. We had read the natives can be aggressive drivers and we were unsure how well the satnav would work for us. He was right to be a little worried as we did find ourselves pretty lost trying to find our in-the-middle-of-nowhere farmhouse (although pleasantly surprised at the good roads, clear signposting and non-aggressive drivers!). We worked it out in the end (it turns out postcodes cover a huge area and so we actually needed co-ordinates instead) and arrived just in time for our first evening meal. Lesson two came here…so, Italians have an antipasti, first course and second course….each one being HUGE. Night one we both ordered each course and found ourselves with what we would describe as a starter, then a huge pile of pasta for first course and steak and chips for our second! Each and every mouthful delicious, but we learnt to maybe pick one or two courses from then on in!
Our room at the farmhouse was just stunning; more like a suite with a dining area, seating area and even a mini kitchen built into a wardrobe! The farmhouse features of stone flooring, vaulted ceilings with beams and views from our window to die for were all there to blow our minds. The staff on reception could not help us enough, kitting us out with tourist guide books and maps, as well as recommendations of villages to visit and restaurants to dine in. Unusually for a farmhouse, Fonte de Medici also has a wonderful outside pool where you can swim or relax and look out over those special views.
Fancy getting married with classic Tuscany as your backdrop? This is your place. You can have your dream wedding at Fonte de Medici, with plenty of room for as many friends and relatives who can travel with you. It would certainly be the type of wedding dreams are made of.
Our first full day was our wedding anniversary. After spending the morning relaxing by the pool, we took a trip to a nearby village for lunch (more unbelievably scrummy pasta) before deciding to take a road trip to Siena. Oh. My. Goodness. I fell in love with this place from the moment we arrived. Everywhere you look there are typically Italian sights of rustic buildings, endless narrow alleyways and mind-blowing architecture. I could sit in Piazza del Campo for hours and just take it all in.
For our special anniversary meal, I had contacted La Cantinetta di Passignano (http://www.lacantinettadipassignano.it/) before leaving home after the farmhouse recommended it via email. To our delight, we were spoilt rotten, with a special table being set up for front row viewing of the sunset and huge glasses of prosecco handed to us on arrival. The meal was beyond delicious (in fact, every meal we had during this trip was mouth-wateringly good) and the setting like a dream. We took our drinks out back of the restaurant after our meal and discovered why this is also an ideal place to celebrate a wedding. In fact, we decided there and then we will one day return to Italy to renew our wedding vows in a setting just like this.
During our stay, we also took a drive out to Florence, a far more busy and bustling place than Siena with queues of people keen to visit the famous museums and attractions. We were more than happy to wander the streets, taking it all in and, of course, eating more stunning food!
I could go on for hours about our perfect Italian trip. It was everything I had always hoped it would be and has only got us even more excited to go back time and again and discover even more of what Italy has to offer. A wonderful place to get engaged or married, to celebrate a wedding or anniversary or to spend your honeymoon. I’m sold and cannot wait for our next visit.
Disclosure…Fonte de Medici gave a 10% discount on our accommodation and La Cantinetta di Passignano gave a 50% discount on our meal in return for a write-up on this blog