More of Italy, 2012

My eyes popped open at 5:00 AM! What in the world??

I am typically NOT an early bird so I tried to go back to sleep . . . but I finally gave up. Today (Tuesday) was a travel day so the morning consisted of packing, breakfast, and check-out. I was sorry to leave Lezzeno. I really liked the village, the people, and especially the villa.

We held our breath as Max navigated the narrow streets through all the little towns until we got to the highway at Como.  Whew!

On the road we headed south. Destination: Tuscany! Yeah, baby!  (Have I died and gone to Heaven?)

Along the way we saw mile after mile of farming towns. It looked like they were growing mostly corn and hay but I’m not certain. We commented that the area looks very similar to the farmlands in our area of California. As we got further south, the terrain changed and looked more like the typical rolling hills you would expect to see in wine country. We drove 4-5 hours and finally turned off the highway to find our hotel which is located in the Tuscan hill country in a town called Castellino in Chianti.  Oh. My. Goodness.

The area is absolutely stunning. There are vineyards every where the eye can see. There are also olive groves, cypress trees, and sunflower fields all around the area.  

View from the pool.

View from the pool.

Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino is actually an old converted animal farm! According to the brochure, the Falassi and Orlandi families set up two hotels in two 15th century buildings in the area.  The one we are visiting is in the country surrounded by it’s own vineyards. It is rustic and charming and feels more like a Bed and Breakfast. There are only 29 rooms here – all decorated with Tuscan furniture, wrought-iron beds, terracotta floors, wood beam ceilings, wood shutters, and brick archways throughout.  The original trough for feeding pigs, is still in the sitting area! This is such a departure from the places we usually visit. We are literally out in the country. I can envision spending quiet, peaceful, relaxing days by the pool or in the garden enjoying the spectacular view. 

We haven’t had an opportunity to explore or take pictures yet, but I took a few shots just before dinner to give you an idea of where we are. 

Hotel Belvedere.

Front gate to hotel.

Hotel side view.

The pool.

Front patio area.

The garden patio where we had dinner.

The original well.

Tomorrow we have a busy day planned. Lights out early tonight!

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