Villa Schmilla

Villa IMG_8897It turns out the villa life is not for me. Oh, its beautiful and relaxing and I would not turn down and opportunity to come back, but after a handful of days I’m ready to plug into the energy of an honest to goodness city.

This morning under the cover of darkness we load up the rental and trek up the scary steep driveway one last time. We’re too tired to be wistful and too eager to experience Florence again, on our own, to be sad. All the same, we’ll miss the ease and lightness of this magical place.

Last night, after our incredible day at the vineyard, we ventured down into the village to savor a few last slices of Tuscan pizza – oh, there’s a different between Tuscan pizza and, let’s say, Rome pizza; it’s as real as the difference between New York and Chicago pizza –  and some carafes of wine. The evening is just the right amount of cool to sit outside. There are ten of us humans and two little ambassadors of love.

Dogs are people everywhere we’ve been in Italy so far. They are so socialized that many of them don’t require leashes; they are appropriately indifferent to the activity of strangers. They are allowed in restaurants and grocery stores, on trains and pretty much anywhere a human can take them. They are deeply loved as dogs, not so much dressed up and paraded around like little dolls. Our friends, Lila and Frida, are mother and daughter miniature poodles that have no time for frilly haircuts or bows, but lots of time for lap sitting. Which they are begging to do as we enjoy our first sips of wine.

Because the weather was so agreeable all the windows and doors of the actual restaurant were open to allow fresh air in to mingle with the scent of freshly made pasta on its way out. Unfortunately it also allows the vocal stylings of an Italian teenager struggling her way through a Taylor Swift song. It was karaoke night.

A momentary distraction and up for discussion and amusement until our pizzas arrived and all attention moved to matters of gastronomy. Which one is that? How is it? Can I have a piece? Where’s the red wine? What kind is that down there? Can I try a slice? Just half, no, okay, the whole slice.

As the evening progressed the temperatures dropped. Our two furry friends finally found their way onto lap rotation, snuggling and warming each of us. They would be staying here with the owners of the villas, of course, but we would miss them. We all want miniature poodles now, but only if they are just like Lila and Frida.

As it grew later and later, a few of us began making noises to try to encourage some sort of closure so we wouldn’t have to stress about packing and timing, while others were still steeped in conversation. Karin and I were tired, but not rushed. We knew we would need to leave early in the morning, but we’re not flying out. We still have just over two more weeks to explore this beautiful country.

When we returned back to the villa most of those that stayed behind were already asleep. Karin and I packed. I ran around the villa snapping photos of some of the architectural and design details I found so charming. The interior designer in me still lives quietly below the surface, noticing the way a door is set or a unique window lock. There were so many details in this particular house that I would need a week more to capture them all and I would still probably miss a few.

But now it’s morning and dark and we made it up the driveway without grinding gears and rolling back down to start over. It’s going to be a great day. Onto Florence for one day and night, then to Venice, then to Murano and Burano, then Perugia, and maybe Sienna on the way and….

This gallery contains pictures I’ve posted before, but I thought it might be nice to get the flavor all at once. Truly breath-taking beauty.

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