Now that my project about Tuscany over the seasons is over, I have decided to start a new project: Tuscany through my eyes. Well, more or less… I am planning on publishing one or more photos of Tuscany every week, and not just some beautiful photos, but images that “match” the way I see my beautiful region at that time of the year. I will publish photos that I have taken and photos that I have not taken but I wish I had! 52 posts to show you Tuscany the way I see it and feel it.
Up until I was in my late teens (and therefore too cool to hang out with my parents or so I thought), late October was the time of the year when we would go mushroom hunting all together. I have never liked hunting mushrooms per se, but I loved the walk in the woods. My dad, who is also a passionate hunter, would take us through thick maquis and woods and through paths which a non-expert eye could barely discern. I found it amazing that he would always know where we were and that such gorgeous places existed so close to where we spent every single day of our lives and which yet, being so secluded, remained essentially hidden and unknown to most people, including the locals.
(Woods in the Maremma – Photo by Francesco Collina)
If I close my eyes, I can still smell the wet moss, the coat of wet yellow leaves covering the ground, the damp countryside. And I can hear the sounds of the sticks breaking under my feet, the noise of the little streams we would pass, the voices of my parents enthusiastically calling each other to doublecheck that the mushrooms they had found were the good ones. I remember the sounds of the animals that would be observing us hiding in the trees and bushes: the birds, the squirrels, the deer, the hare.
I remember the wild cyclamens dotting the steep slopes after making their way out of the thick layer of dead leaves or stubbornly coming out in between moss-covered rocks. I found them so gorgeous.
And I remember the feeling of absolutely wanting to take that all in and never forget it.
I’ve loved reading “At Home in Tuscany!” and my wife and I will be traveling to Italy this summer for the first time. We have 4 days to spend driving, exploring the Umbria-Tuscan region and we want to make great memories; we’re simple people and we love the countryside, taking pictures and want to spend our time wisely. Any suggestions?
Thanks for your time, Jerry
You might want to base yourselves in the Valdorcia or Crete area (Montepulciano-Pienza area) which is not too far from the border with Umbria and is a fabulous countryside area. Alternatively you can base yourselves in Umbria and visit Southern Tuscany from there. Have fun!