A Slice of Life Story - Italian Style
Asciano is a small town in the heart of the Tuscan region steeped in history dating back to the Etruscans. When we finally arrive there, having driven from Rome, one of the first things we spy is a ATM secreted in a medieval wall. What a contrast.
We spend the next hour trying to find our accommodation. We do laps of the narrow streets and only arouse stares from bemused locals. We seek direction from a young man at the Carabinieri station. We struggle to communicate so I show him the address and he immediately gives me the directions in Italian. We smile at each other and part. I feel as useless as a fur lined teapot. We drive roughly in the direction he gestured and wind up driving back through the same streets as before. This time things are different though. We are now behind a funeral procession, which naturally has right of way. We don’t wish to offend the recently departed on our first day in town. A supervising Caribinieri officer takes pity on us and we again seek directions. After giving us directions in Italian he steps back and waits for a response. He then gestures to us to follow. He figures it’s simpler to lead us to the spot in his car –and he does just that! We offer our most humble ‘grazie’ and he leaves us to negotiate the steep, narrow track that is ‘Il Falconcello’ As we ascend this above average goat track Carlo’s house appears above us. It is a restored farmhouse with a rambling garden and lots of instant appeal. Our home for the next two weeks is perfect. Terracotta, white walls and dark wood set in a rustic garden where iris and rosemary predominate. The irises are so profuse they remind one of agapanthus at home. The view across the valley and above the town is breathtakingly beautiful. So Tuscan, so historically coloured, so peaceful. It is a pop up book backdrop beyond belief.