In Tuscany between Florence and Sienna you will find the prettiest tiny Italian Village tucked neatly behind stone walls. This is Montefioralle, a place that dates back to the 11th century where double stone walls were built in an elliptical shape as fortification against the marauders that existed in the Chianti area. Let me take you on a little walk around this place, that today is quiet and peaceful with its historic stone walls and summery gardens within.
It was a warm summer day. The hillside air had a coolness to it that would soon dissipate in the afternoon sun that Tuscany is so adored for. A gentle breeze rustled the overhanging greenery creating a rhythmic dance that fuelled the soul. And I was ready to experience my Tuscan dream of living in a little village like this – if even for just an hour or two.
There are said to be about 100 inhabitants in this village. I only saw two. And there were no tourists in sight either, though I am sure many come here to marvel at this medieval village with it’s double stone walls and beautiful balcony gardens.
Notice the letter V over the doorway above. Historical stories tell us that this was the home of famed explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci discovered present day Rio de Janiero on his third voyage, giving the American continents his name. Imagine him leaving this very place and sailing across the ocean in the early 1500s to discover the new world.
In a similar arched shape to the doorways, which is typical of Italian architecture, there are four entrances build into the fort like structure each with a unique ordinal view over the Tuscan countryside.
Stop for a little appertivo at the local bar or chat with one of the residents who is leisurely watering her garden. The pace here is slow and beautiful.
Our driver and guide, Alessio showed us the capers growing wildly on the stone walls and explained much about the plants and flora in the area. We were lucky to learn from his background in agriculture.
As flowers grew lazily over ancient stone walls laid by the hands of people who no longer remain on our planet, I marvelled at the history and stories these walls could tell.
Here’s a little video of my walk around Montefioralle. I still dream of this place hidden joyfully behind stone walls. Perhaps Jo will consider it for her Monday Walk.
If you are planning a trip to Tuscany and want to meet Alessio and his wife Arianna (I highly recommend), you can find them at KM Zero Tours.
I wonder, is there a little off the beaten path place you’ve visited that you still dream about?