Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« Europe trip (Part 4): Montalcino and Montefiridolfi | Main | Europe trip (Part 2): More Paris! »
Monday
Jun052006

Europe trip (Part 3): Fonte de'Medici in Italy

At Fonte De' Medici


Part 1 (Paris) - Part 2 (more Paris) - Part 3 (Fonte de' Medici) - Part 4 (Montalcino and Montefiridolfi) - Part 5 (La Petraia) - Part 6 (Florence) - Part 7 (more Florence) - Part 8 (Cinque Terre) - Part 9 (Pisa, Fiesole and Volpaia) - Part 10 (Lost in Siena) - Part 11 (Siena) - Part 12 (Rome) - Final


We flew from Paris to Florence via Air France, during which we had a snack consisting of a mini ham sandwich, mini open face sandwich spread thinly with a peppery cheese, a small pastry shell filled with seasoned chopped tomatoes and dill, and a delicious cherry tart. Yum...way better than a micro-package of pretzels.

Ginny picked us up in her rented Alfa Romeo convertible, and we drove from the airport with the top down, the wind in our hair and sunlight on our faces. I was astounded by the beautiful scenery of the countryside: the rolling hills, green vineyards and olive trees, the brilliant wildflowers. Hm. "Beautiful" seems too lame a word, really. Breathtaking is better. Gorgeous. Stunning. Oh-dear-lord-I-MUST-BE-DREAMING?!?

Tuscan countryside


After about an hour, the winding road starting up a steep hill and Ginny pointed to the left to two houses visible on top of a hill:

View of Fonte de' Medici


Our apartment complex is the house on the right, on top of the hill. Here's what we saw as we reached the building:

Fonte de' Medici


The Fonte de' Medici is one of the Chianti Classico estates owned by the Antinori family, which has been famous for its wine production since the 1300s. Fonte de' Medici was named after De' Medici Family's spring, where 15th century travelers between Florence and Siena refreshed themselves. Fonte de' Medici includes three clusters of wholly restructured and newly equipped farmhouses surrounded by vineyards.

We stayed in the Malvasia apartment, named after a Tuscan grape. It was spacious and full of light, and included a full kitchen, huge walk-in closet, and a bathroom that was at least three times as big as the one we had at home. This was our home base for most of our stay in Italy, thanks to the generosity of Jeff's mom:



Our apartment dining area at Fonte de' MediciOur apartment living room
Kitchen area (part 2)Our bedroom at Fonte de' Medici


A grassy sitting area in front our apartment looked over a bank of lavender down the hillside. You can see Jeff relaxing in one of the recliners in the photo below:

Jeff reading


On our first morning, I got up early and walked around the renovated farmhouse. Roses were everywhere... lining fences, cultivated in clumps, sprawling over stone walls. I never once ran into another soul during these morning walks. The grounds were immaculately kept, with several gorgeous sitting areas like this one:

Sitting area


And yes, I felt very, VERY spoiled.

To be continued...

At Font de' Medici


You can see more trip photos here.

You can find out more about Fonte de' Medici here.

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