Pinch me

Today was one of those boring days spent in transit. About 8 hours on the first train from Monopoli to Faenza, then we waited for about an hour there, before catching a new-ish train to Borgo San Lorenzo, which is just outside of Florence, which took another hour. Of these 10 hours, I’ve spent approximately 9.5 playing Avengers. If Thanos comes back from the dead one more time..

The first leg was actually mostly along the coastline which made for pretty viewing. In terms of real estate though it made no sense, as it often felt like we were on the sand the water was so close!

I hope my fellow carriage riders thought ‘omg that loser is taking a photo through the window. You know I would have.’

I had been stressing about today for some time, when considering the logistics of getting the huge suitcase, the pram, my back pack, Hardy, his monkey bag, and now the Country Road bag, up the steep steps into the train. Let alone finding the right seat etc. It’s hard Yakka and very awkward. Fortunately, friendly people were in abundance and we were helped at every turn which was such a relief. We initially sat in the wrong seats and again, fortunately, ran into one of the train guards who helped me carry everything into the right carriage.

The one thing I had not considered for today was packing food. I assumed there would be some kind of cafe carriage. I was mistaken. We nibbled feebly on a packet of chips, two muesli bars, and a ziplock bag of jatz – all of my ’emergency’ food now gone but I guess it served its purpose! I considered jumping off at one of the stops and making use of a vending machine, but given it generally only stopped for two minutes, the terrifying thought of it taking off without us put a quick stop to that.

The second leg was decidedly different with the train sneaking deep into green and dense forest and through lots of tunnels. We then caught our first glimpses of the grapevines – green and red grapes everywhere. I initially felt sad about leaving our sweet little pad in Monopoli and the lovely view, and being such a beach bum I don’t like to leave it. However, I met the drastic change of scenery here with a bit of a sigh of relief or something (possibly the sight of the vineyards?), like I could feel myself relaxing. Not that I was terribly tense mind you. I told Hardy we had finally made it and in some kind of auto response he looked out the window and jumped up and said ‘wow this is incredible!!’ I’ve obviously been saying this a lot for him to have picked it up!

A driver met us at the train station as there ordinarily would be no taxis at this time (or maybe ever if Monopoli is anything to go by) – thanks Chris! A few minutes later and we turn into a white gravel drive, through big wrought iron gates, and snake our way into the Monsignor Della Casa estate. And wow double wow holy fucking shit how much did this cost again? Who do I think I am?? I was instantly in love. It’s so fucking beautiful my foul mouth probably ruins any image you could conjure up, but it’s all stone buildings and vines creeping everywhere. A real Tuscan delight. If anyone wants to get married soon do yourself a favour and come here! I could only get a few photos in before the sun went down but be prepared for total photo spam in the coming days. Picture perfect postcard images are coming your way.

The view from our window
Glimpses of the setting sun from our front door
The setting for dinner

After our brush with starvation I was very excited by the thought of dinner, and this place did not disappoint. Possibly the best meal I’ve ever had in my life (I know I have said that before/many times). Home-made potato gnocchi with pesto sauce, adorned with chopped tomatoes that had some kind of marinade or something on them. Like no tomato I’d ever tasted. Hardy opted for an omlette but given the number of resort cats hanging around, I’m unsure how much actually went into his own mouth. (Dad I imagined this to be similar to a Rowena versus peas situation but she was no doubt more inconspicuous).

We have no plans for the next few days but this place has everything – pool, playground, sandpit, toys etc. I’m hoping to explore some local vineyard/s and hopefully get to the likes of Montepulciano but we shall see. I get the feeling time might evaporate here.

Buonanotte from one very happy potato filled lady. xx


  1. Beautiful place. Just you style! Enjoy the ambience and RELAX! Has hardy got gravel rash from his playground efforts??
    Love Dad

  2. Firstly, I must say that it is fine to take photos through the window of a moving train or whatever. Some of my best photos were taken through the bus window in Norway, and most of them turned out beautifully. It never occurred to me that I might be annoying anyone – like you used to be until you discovered the necessity for it yourself. It’s either take something wondrous through the window or don’t have it at all. So go for it – just watch for reflections.

    How weird was the train ride so close to the beach. I hope they don’t have erosion like we do here.

    Yay – vineyards!! And gnocchi!! This place looks amazing – and as you say – sooooo relaxingj!! And cats for Hardy to play with – and feed!


    1. That’s true what you say – take the picture or miss out. We were introduced to the kittens today – the mums carrying them in their mouths while we ate breakfast!

  3. Wow. I’m soooo jealous. This place sounds like a dream. Stop apologising for the photo spam and lay it on us!

    1. Yeah I’m pretty excited for what’s ahead! This place, then Lucca and Florence.. so lucky!

  4. I love the photos – keep them coming!!! So risotto at the Gumdale Tavern might not cut it anymore on date night??!!

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