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11 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    17.10.2016 Marcialla in der Toskana

    October 15, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Kilometer: 11.826

    Nach einer Übernachtung auf der italienischen Autobahn kamen wir ans Ziel: ein entzückender kleiner Campingplatz bei Marcialla bei Certaldo in der Empolese Valdelsa in der Toskana in Italien. Am dieser langen Ortsbeschreibung könnt ihr vielleicht erahnen, wie schmal und steil die letzten Straßen ausfielen, welche uns hierher führten. Und das nach der Geschichte mit unserem neuen Belüftungsschlitz in der Außenhaut! Entsprechend langsam und bedächtig ging es von statten und vielleicht wurde von einem Rückstau in den Verkehrsnachrichten erzählt... Wir verstehen leider kein Italienisch!
    Aber die Fahrt lohnte sich: Der Blick von unserem Stellplatz ist atemberaubend und wir genießen ihn ausgiebig. Da das Wetter vorerst recht feucht ausfiel, bauten wir das Vorzelt auf. Bei einem Sturm wurde es sofort einer Feuerprobe unterzogen und bestand bravourös. Nur der Matsch vor unserer Tür trocknet sehr schlecht ab...
    Die meiste Zeit genießen wir die Ruhe, gehen im nahegelegenen Coop einkaufen, nehmen lokale Köstlichkeiten zuhause zu uns oder gehen essen in einem winzigen Lokal in Marcialla, das wir ins Herz geschlossen haben.
    Wir haben es gefunden: La dolce vitæ !
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  • Day30

    Rome to Tuscany

    September 25, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    All cool this morning as we had the trial run with the ridiculous bus situation yesterday. We arrived, we waited, we got on the bus, we relaxed for several hours watching scenery. Got off the bus at Siena, the boys retrieved the vehicles, we drove to Certaldo - reasonably sedate driving experience really, we got to Certaldo, only marginally alarmed that I had not heard from our AirBnB host since I booked 6 months ago, and we couldn't enter the village as it is a traffic controlled zone and we had no arrangements for anyone to meet us. But merely seconds before we put money in the parking lot to wait it out and/or work out where we were going to sleep in lieu of being homeless, they made contact and we were good to go.

    This is the accommodation we have all sort of been looking forward to - an apartment in a castle dating from circa 1100s. Not disappointed!

    We settled in quickly, and were up on our own tower sipping on wine and eating cheese faster than could be imagined as possible given the access to the tower is up a steep narrow staircase, followed by what can only be described as the steepest ladder ever (to our bedroom), then up another set up of narrow steps to the tower. A bit tricky to navigate without spilling your wine - we have since worked out to leave it in a corked up bottle and just take up empty glasses in case you are wondering!

    Anyway, a lovely sunset, views across to San Gimignano and perfect weather!
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  • Day35

    Cucina Giuseppina: Pasta

    September 30, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    We made a traditional Tuscan pasta called pici which used to be hand-rolled by the ladies around the table as they had a gossip. These days, use a pasta machine - much faster.

    Tip: 100gms flour and 1 egg per person - served with a pomodoro and garlic sauce and plenty of fresh parmesan

  • Day31

    Exploring Certaldo

    September 26, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    A bit of a lazy morning before heading out to explore our hilltop locale of Certaldo Alto. It is quite tiny, with lots of windy alley ways, all beautifully old and with nooks and crannies. The kids played in the small playground in the village (lined with olive trees, all bearing olives) where what looks like daffodils (?) are growing wild on the side of the hill tops.

    In search of lunch, we decided to take the funicular down to the village after working out that Google Maps statement of there being a bakery in our village were false. Got there just as the shops were closing up for a few hours and the entire village of Certaldo proper turned into a ghost town for a few hours (most inconvenient this idea of closing down from 1.00-3.00pm every day!). We decided to not wait for the funicular and walked back up a very steep hill.

    The kids and I played board games up on the tower for a few hours, ready for gelati time! No gelati in Certaldo Alti either as it turns out, so we walked back down the very steep hill, to find the ghost town was a hive of activity. We had also been charged with finding our nightly wine offerings. Tough stuff really. Every other places we have stayed at has had these small shops which sell wine. NONE in Certaldo, we think because a very large co-op has opened up on the outskirts of town which has a pretty incredible range of food and alcohol, to the point where no-one else seemed to have bothered have their corner store any more.

    What we did find was a tiny wine shop which had a shelf without about 8-10 varieties of local wine and four gigantic vats of wine on tap. Each was simply labelled as either bianca or rossa for between €1.40 and €2.40 per litre. We didn't have any bottles with us, so we the guy sold us 2 litres of merlot in an old water bottle! We did buy a couple of real bottles too, so it wasn't totally uncouth.
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  • Day30

    Views from the tower

    September 25, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    And the reality of living in a 12th century castle converted into 21st century living quarters:
    - septic toilet
    - uneven tread and rise of stairs is disconcerting
    - the sloping ceilings in certain rooms mean you bump your head a lot (ie: I stoop to sit on the loo and by the time I finish my pee I forget to duck when I stand up and bang my head on a ceiling beam)
    - the very steep ladder-like stairs to our bedroom mean it is too dangerous to go to the loo in the middle of the night

    BUT, the setting is unreal, the village is cute as and the views are incredible.
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  • Day33

    Dinner in Certaldo

    September 28, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We got home pretty late from our long drive, but to top off a perfect day, we popped out to the "local" (about 30 metres from our front door) to have dinner on the back verandah looking out over the lights of Certaldo (the lower village). The owner/waiter was a delight.

    Fabulous food and wine, great night out!Read more

  • Day35

    Cooking School at Cucina Giuseppina

    September 30, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Can't come to Tuscany and not do cooking school!

    Just so happens to be one right at our front door, so we signed up for the evening class where we were able to enjoy our own Tuscan delicacies and accompanying wines - antipasto, bruschetta, hand-made pasta, chicken cacciatore, with chocolate salami for dessert.

    The meal was hosted by Giuseppina and her son Luca. They own a nearby farm, all live there as one big happy family, Luca is a viticulturist, so we were sampling their wine including chianti - bellisimo.
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  • Day36

    Wet day, no play in Certaldo Alto

    October 1, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We woke up to the sounds of light rain on the roof tops this morning, which was perfect really because the kids were happy to lounge around all day in their pyjamas, and we were pretty much of the same mind set given it was the last day in our "castle". It also coincided with NRL grand final day, so the perfect excuse for Craig and Jeff to listen to the footy on the radio which started about 10.30am Italian time.

    Later in the afternoon, we climbed up to the tower for our last drinks as the sun set (or moved lower behind the clouds, as the case may be). Had to lighten the load ready to hit the road again tomorrow, so two bottles of wine later... I think I am going to have to enter an AA program when I get home. I am pretty sure I have consumed more alcohol on this holiday than I have in my previous 20 years of living!

    Craig and I had actually left the house a little earlier for some reconnaissance on potential places in the village to take the parents out for dinner on their last night with us. Found a lovely place just around the corner, although they are all 'just around the corner' when your village is only about 200m long I guess.

    A lovely meal was enjoyed by all. We also had our first grappa of the holiday and Glen and I a limoncello when we got home (see what I mean - excessive alcohol consumption!!!)
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  • Day34

    Certaldo cooking school

    September 30, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    I the afternoon we went to a school. It was a cooking school we cooked. Entree 🥖🧀 main🍝2nd main🐔last meal🍫salami. It was so yummy we are going to make that after school. Our teachers were helpful and kind.

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