My first glimpse of the Tuscan countryside came upon awaking from a decaf-induced snooze on the bus between Roma and Siena. It took me a moment to believe I had woken–the afternoon sun glowing on the rolling green hills, actual medieval castles at their crests, had me wondering if it was a dream. The ancient soil is expertly lined with rows of trellises supporting the currently vacant grapevines, each a barren crucifix awaiting Spring’s promise of resurrection. The winding rivers and creeks pass frequently, revealing the life-source of this incredibly lush landscape. Livestock and homesteads dot the distance like toys. It’s almost too much to take in at all, let alone barreling along at over 100km/hour. I feel like a pauper at the back of the crowd during the King’s procession…desperately trying to cram my memory with each passing glimpse of splendor, fearing it will pass all too soon.
None of the pictures I’ve seen or descriptions I’ve read have done justice to the beauty of this place, so I don’t expect that mine will for you. Still, it’s impossible not to share.