Last Sunday the weather was super bad. Bad weather in Tuscany and little active children is not a good combination. There are so many museums but they’re just so boring for kids. The weather and rain is very local which means you have to be flexible and watch the radar very well so that you can drive wherever it doesn’t rain at the moment. That’s why we first of all went to the Aquarium in Livorno. It’s not that big but we didn’t have any other idea and the kids loved it anyways.
Afterwards we spontaneously decided to go to Pisa. I had to talk Mike over cause we both knew how annoying the tourists can get there. We tried to ignore all those people who lined up to take a ridiculous picture of themselves holding the tower.
If you manage that the buildings are pretty amazing.
On Monday we listened to an interactive presentation of the stables here at Diacceroni. The kids and I of course took advantage of the possibility to ride the horse/Ponys for free.
After that we drove to Volterra to do some more shopping as we had gotten a last minute order for olive oil 😜 We didn’t expect Volterra to be so beautiful. It really is one of the most beautiful towns here in the vicinity- also because it’s not (yet) completely overrun by tourists. But we still had to park outside the old city center and walk in. If you still insist on driving in the ZTL zone you’ll receive a hefty fine.
As we had now seen quite a few towns (and a bit of Pisa) in Tuscany it was time for a real city trip: Florence. We drove by car to Pontedera and then took the train to Florence, as we had heard that parking was supposed to be quite a challenge. As we had some time to kill before our guided tour in the afternoon we went to the Piazza de la Republica (or, to be more precise, to the antique merry-go-round on the plaza), then to the Disney store in order to purchase some much needed motivation for the boys (and they earned every bit of it, more on that later) and a good non-pasta lunch at the Hard Rock Café.
After all that it was time to get to know Florence. We met up with our guide at the belltower of the dome and then proceeded to walk around Florence for the next 2-3h. Noam was sleeping for most of the time in the child carrier and Nate was being dragged/entertained/motivated by us to follow us on our tour. We learned quite a few things, saw some amazing historic buildings and (again) had some delicious gelato.
But the highlight of Florence was after the tour: Once we were done we decided to climb the bell tower – an endeavor for which we had brought the child carrier as we assumed that Noam would be way too unmotivated to climb the 400 steps to the top. We were wrong. Both the kids raced up as if there was free gelato on top (sadly, there wasn’t), it was us who had to try and keep up. The view was definitely worth it though.
What we haven’t told yet is that we got to know a super nice American family with two kids here at Diacceroni. Aaron, Megan, Keller and West are traveling for a year and will spend a lot of this time in Italy. Keller is Noam‘s age which meant those 3 boys had a fun time playing together. Unfortunately they had to continue their journey and leave this place last Sunday. But fortunately their next stop was only a 2 hours drive away from here. They invited us over to their new place to hang with them and so that the kids can play a little bit more together. Which meant we went to their new place in Montisi, which is close to Montepulciano from Wednesday till Thursday. In the afternoon we spent some time at their pool and in the evening we went to Pienza which is a neat little town without any tourists and very good gelato. 😊
We found out that Aaron and Megan knew a woman who would be willing to look after the kids at night. So we decided to go out for some more food and drinks without kids at 9:00 pm. We ended up in a small restaurant in Montisi, which didn’t have a a traditional menu. The chef himself came to the table and told you what he was serving and you had to remember all that and pick something. The food and wine was so delicious. And everything without any pressure or screaming kids. We had such a great time. 😄
Back at the Villa, right before we went to bed I stumbled across a scorpion in the hallway. Thank God, Megan had already told me to keep an eye out for them. I was on my way to get something to get rid of it and when I came back it was already gone. He probably went into the wine cellar. We didn’t see it anymore.
The Villa was very cozy and the bed so comfortable that we didn’t want to get up at all in the morning. But luckily we have our two little rascals who wake us up and help us get out of bed no matter what. We would have loved to spend many many more days there, but after a yummy breakfast by the pool and a short walk to a shop in Montisi, where we got Pecorino and Capacolo, we had so say our good byes again. Now we have to start packing so we can enjoy our last afternoon on a sailboat in the Mediterranean.