Up early, traipsing through the streets of Florence with our luggage to drop it off at what was supposed to be our hotel for the whole stay lol. I’m just sooking, it was not that big of a deal in the end and we really liked our intended hotel. It is inside quite an iconic building and the foyer is filled with historical images that feature the building of Hotel Pendini in the background which were pretty great to look at…..
We dumped our bags and then headed to the train station which is where we were meeting the tour guide for our day in Tuscany. Yes another tour and another guide to critique…..oh goodie!!!! The lovely little blond Olivia was to be our guide for the day and she was a delightful young lady. She had a quiet way about her, a gentle sweet manner and quite a dry sense of humour. Husband and I liked her immediately and thought she would be a fabulous person to show us around an area of Italy we had always wanted to visit. This tour is No. 1 on Trip Advisor for tours out of Florence so they had a lot of hype to live up to and you know what a hard marker I am when it comes to showing me a good time.
Hey maybe there should be a ‘Husband Advisor’ for ladies in search of their next husband???? Each ex wife or ex girlfriend could put up a review of the guy and a rating out of 5. Exes could list the pros and cons and at least then you could be making an informed choice about your next ball and chain. Seriously, I put more research and thought into which hotel or tour to book than I did in choosing my husband. This could be a total money maker don’t you think???? OMG…..this idea is legit GOLDEN!!!! When I’m on the lookout for husband number 2 (which lordy knows can’t be too far away), I sure do hope someone has turned my stroke of genius into a really useful husband selection tool. Of course the real scumbags will likely not get good ratings so their stock would go down big time but the awesome ones, that treat women like the *amazons* that they are….well they’d be 5 stars all the way! Ummm ok, wait….I see a glitch with this plan. Firstly is there such a thing as a quality 5 out of 5 guy? Secondly if there is would he really be single, wouldn’t his queen have held onto him? Thirdly if he was all that and a packet of Tim Tams, then we would all want him and the scrag fights would be epic and truly ugly to secure his love. Imagine the hairpulling/nipple crippling/eye gouging ugliness that would ensue!!!
Anyyyywayyyyy….I’ve lost my train of thought. Oh yes….first stop for the day was Siena. I’d heard of the place but didn’t really know much about it so Lordy Lordy was I wowed when we started walking through this stunning medieval style town. I can’t remember how old it is or any really useful information (as a tour guide/travel writer I make a really good wisecracking prosecco drinker, not much good otherwise). Husband and I were totally and utterly in love with the place (loved it almost as much as Kanye loves Kanye). The beautiful old stone buildings and cobblestone windy streets were divine. It was an unexpectedly beautiful place and I’m so glad we got to see it.
One of the most stunning churches we have ever seen….and lord knows we’ve seen a few on our travels . Ladies and gents, I give you Basilica di San Domenica!!!! Truly so special…
Sounds like overall the lovely town of Siena is a pretty quiet place to live except for when their famous horserace is on each year. Sienna has this amazing big square that is the hub of the town and this is where the horserace is held.
This horserace is called Palio and my very basic understanding of it is there are no rules. Each horse represents an area/suburb of the town and the winner gets lots of kudos, hella fame and love beyond measure so you can imagine the bribery and nasty antics that go on to get the win. Apparently the locals go LOCO CRAZY when it’s on. We Youtubed a race and it was absolutely ballcracking hilarious. Go forth and google folks or for you lazy peeps here ya go:- Palio Horse Race – Siena
After exploring this lovely little town we then headed for lunch at a winery in the Tuscan Hills – as ya do when you are a lucky amazon queen swanning around the world!!!! The outlook was breathtaking, the weather was perfectly delicious and other than a few loud annoying Americans in amongst the tour group that made me question whether bursting my own eardrums was a reasonable option – it was a pretty fantastic day. The owners daughter gave us a short tour around looking at the vineyard along with the wine making process, then she showed us their crazy ass big cows. 95% of the lunch we were going to be eating was produced on their farm/winery which is very cool.
We sat down at long tables covered with a gazillion wine glasses so it looked like it was going to be a merry meal. We first got a lesson about wine tasting. I now have a PHD in swirling smelling sipping wine wanker-dom (this is a real degree) and can rub shoulders and speak intelligently *ummm I mean that might be stretching it* about the nectar of the gods. Actually I’m kinda lying, as soon as I realised there were no bubbles being served with lunch…I glazed over. I mean really you call yourself a vineyard but you don’t produce god’s gift to motherhood – the mind numbing spiritual liquid that for centuries has been making it easier for mumma’s to get through their day without eating their young, and in fact the stuff that probably is the reason we get knocked up in the first place??? Madness I tells ya.
We were served a yummy plate of meats and cheeses which were quickly gobbled down with one of their white wines.
Then came perhaps the best bolognaise I have ever eaten. So different from ours, not much sauce, not much meat, lots of pasta but the flavour packed a punch that would’ve sent Rocky sprawling to the mat and out for the count. Mmm Mmm Good!!!!!
Seriously the amount of bottles of wine they kept putting on the tables could’ve kept the whole Vatican going for communion for quite some time. I wasn’t really partaking because it’s not really my thing (I hate red wine, but I did try and be a grown up and taste each one). They finished the lunch with a sweet syrupy dessert wine and some biscotti. Now husband and I have never really understood the whole biscotti phenomonen. It’s just a dried up, too crunchy biscuit right???? Well we A. hadn’t ever had homemade biscotti and B. hadn’t been told to dunk the shiz out of it into the dessert wine. BOOM!!!! Mind and tastebuds blown!!!! You better believe that after our eyes bugged out of our heads in delight ala cartoon style, we downed plenty of those babies of goodness like it was the Olympics and we were trying to get a spot on the podium. We ate this biscotti outside on the balcony with the most divine views over the Tuscan Hills. Be prepared to be overloaded with graphic imagery of said incredible views and hot couple….
I was starting to wonder how the majority of my fellow travellers were going to get through the afternoon without a nap, 234 loo stops and at least 3 people were becoming prime candidates for alcohol poisoning and in case of extreme situations I believe there was a stomach pump located at the front of the tour bus (these people don’t mess around lol).
Fortunately everyone managed to stumble/crawl/be dragged Captain Caveman style back onto the bus and we were soon in the most incredible little town of San Gimignano. Fondly known as the Medieval Manhattan because of all of it’s towers throughout the city. Apparently it originally had about 70 of the things but only around 14 are still standing. They are the weirdest things, with no real windows just teeny little peep holes so they could see their enemies approaching from far away (or maybe the mother-in-law???) giving them plenty of time to either launch an attack or in the case of MIL, pack up and move without leaving a forwarding address.
Walking around this town there were 2 firsts for the trip – we heard the first aussie accents which was so exciting. We had been stunned that we hadn’t heard any yet – very strange as usually the awesome Australian legends are out in force. The second first was I had my first Gelato – of the trip and ever!!!! Yes you heard me right, first one ever!!!! I don’t mind icecream type things but to be honest I’m not really sure what the hype is about. I’d rather a packet of chips or some chocolate any day….or bubbles!!!! Anyway, I had one, it was nice, a bit sickly sweet but I liked it. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for husband who’s love of gelato can only be rivalled by my love of pizza….or bubbles!!!!
Then we were ready for the final push of the tour which was a great relief *a bit like in child birth when the head crowns and you know it’s nearly over except you have to go through ball splitting pain the likes of which you hope and pray never to experience again*….actually it wasn’t really like childbirth at all now I think about. Childbirth can’t be compared to any earthly normal experience and men couldn’t possible understand it hehehe. Start again, so we were ready for the final leg of the tour on to Pisa to see that thing that leans.
Now folks, if you are building a beautiful white tower of who knows what, when you are only 3 floors into your little pet project and it’s already obvious to you, the town, God and the blind guy sitting on the corner that things aren’t going well – may I make a small suggestion – stop, tear that shiz down and start again. Like admit you motherstuffed up and fix it. You don’t keep going and then over a coupla hundred more years keep trying to fix it by being even more stupid-tastic and adding layer upon layer of stupid. Listen that’s just me – I’m probably being highly critical – and truly what do I know about building a tower that could fall down at any tick of the clock. You can bet your arse I wasn’t going up the thing though. Knowing my luck today would’ve been the day that one person with big knockers standing on the leaning side would’ve been the thing that tipped the balance and the whole thing would’ve come crashing down. I mean, I would’ve been okay and survived with my two built-in air bags but what about the poor unsuspecting souls who climbed the tower with me that day. What did they ever do that was so bad to suffer death by incredibly oversized hoot-a-toots.
So I stayed on the ground and admired it for what it is – a pretty white tall thing that leans – thats surrounded by tourists doing the “holding up the tower” shot. No I didn’t take one. Yes I wanted to. No husband wouldn’t let me – he is such a *fun sponge* sometimes so I just took some pretty pictures, and yes bitches I used the selfie stick. Gawd I’m loving Selena the Selfie Stick’s guts so bad. It is the most wonderful invention since botox, disposable nappies and well – selfies!!!! Finally I am on a holiday and in some actual photos and yeah there is some guy in the shots with me as well – still not sure who he is but he keeps jumping in them, stealing my light but he’s a bit of alright so I guess it’s okay if he shares my spotlight. You gotta know though that I will only be sharing photos where I look good – he could have his eyes closed, a booger hanging out his nose or an oozing gunshot wound to the face – and I’d still be choosing my best look. Just sayin’. Love this below photo…
Pisa done – check! Tuscany done *briefly but a little taste* – check! Didn’t kill anyone in falling old building because of too big inflation devices – check! No stomachs pumped (yet) – check! Back in bus – check! Snoozing all the way home to Florence – check! Another wonderful tour and interesting, funny tour guide – check!!!!!
Way to go. I’m on a roll…..arrived home safely, didn’t bother with dinner, crawled into bed and crashed. Awesome day all round!!!!!
Note:- Tour company was Walkabout Tours Florence (terrible name I know). Tour was great and we felt we dipped our toes into the Tuscan area enough to feel satisfied *for now*. I would highly recommend this tour. Check them out on Trip Advisor.
Highlights – Siena was unexpectedly awesome, the views from lunch were to die for, biscotti bliss (who knew), the whole tour really
Lowlights – no bubbles at lunch (that’s a huge lowlight right)
Weather – High 18/Low 7