day 4: A cheese Farm in Florence
Halfway through our trip, we bid arrivederci to Lucca and made our way to Villa Pisignano outside of Florence. This house was out of this world beautiful. I would seriously live there for the rest of my life. I choose a bedroom with a giant king-size bed and a view overlooking the rolling hills of the countryside. It was truly a dream. We drove to a nearby town for a tour and lunch at a family-owned cheese farm. We got to sample some amazing cheeses and my favorite was one that they told us was a yummy mistake! We relaxed at the villa for the rest of the day before heading into Florence for dinner. We had some amazing pastas at Ristorante il Latini, a classic old-school Italian restaurant, the perfect welcome to Firenze.
day 5: A Vineyard in Tuscany
Our bodies were starting to wear down, so Chanel set up a morning yoga class at the villa for us with her favorite yoga instructor from Austin who just happened to be in Tuscany at the same time we were! It was such a soothing way to start the morning. We worked on posture, stretching, and breathing. Once we were in a refreshed mindset, we headed to Castello di Gabbiano, a quintessential vineyard in Tuscany. Our tour guide showed us all around the castle, wine cellar, and property before leading us to the most amazing lunch at their on-site restaurant. We enjoyed a wine pairing with each course and ended up having a three hour lunch! Later, we had a cooking class at our villa that was the highlight of the trip for me. Giuseppina taught us how to make garlic and rosemary pork loin, roasted potatoes, handmade pasta, and strawberry panna cotta. Even though I’m not the greatest cook, I really felt like I could take her simple recipes home and try them myself!
day 6: Enjoying Our Villa
We had been so go, go, go for the past couple of days that we all needed a little break. We spent this day lounging around the villa and doing whatever we wanted. I painted in my watercolor book for a while, laid out by the pool, and took a much-needed nap. It was Camille and Adam’s wedding anniversary and they planned to go to dinner in Florence, so the rest of the girls and I were on our own and went out for a girls’ dinner. We found a quaint little restaurant close by and got all dressed up for a nice dinner.
day 7: Exploring Florence
We spent our last day in Italy exploring the city of Florence. We had spent the majority of our trip in the countryside so it was exciting to see the city center. We started with a terrifying bike tour of the city. I’m not the strongest bike rider, so I was especially nervous, but after a while I started to gain some confidence. We had lunch at the cutest garden cafe called Santarosa Bistrot that looked right out of an Anthropologie catalogue. After eating pasta for almost every meal, I was so excited to see a caesar salad on the menu! We all split after lunch to see different parts of the city. Camille and Adam walked around and saw some shops. Kristen and Caroline checked out the leather goods market. And Jenn, Chanel, and I decided to start aperitivo early with some aperol spritzes on the rooftop of Hotel Continentale. Eventually everyone met up with us for a few drinks before we headed to our last Italian dinner at il Santo Bevitore. I got one last scoop of gelato at Gelateria Santa Trinita before we headed home and back to the states.