We are friends, neighbors, and obsessed with all things style. Gina designs unique, hand-crafted jewelry and Jennifer practices the art of wardrobe management. It was only natural that they came together to launch a style blog.
Photos via here
From the terrace of Borgo Argenina, you can see the house where Bertolucci filmed the movie Stealing Beauty. Taking the advice of Elena Nappa, the owner of the B&B, three of us ventured off to find the “Double Tree” and the house. We did find the double tree and it was magnificent. However, we pegged the wrong house, so I had to borrow pictures from Elena’s facebook profile (go ahead and friend her! You can see what is going on in her part of the world before your trip to Tuscany).
We almost ‘took a peek’ in the wrong house. If we had spend just a couple minutes less at the “Double Tree”, we would have made it in right before the owners pulled in. They turned down the road leading to the house right before we did. Of course, we thought they were also going to see the abandoned house from Stealing Beauty. However, when a dog came out to greet them and they made there way inside (like they had done this before), we took a better look at the house and decided it was the wrong one. Uh-oh, had we been two minutes earlier, we would have had some ‘splainin to do!!
David Schwimmer and Zoe Buckman outside The Accademia Gallery.
Photo via here.
A few days ago, I admired Michelangelo’s David just a few feet away from these two. My mom was the one from our group to notice them sitting on a bench. I almost didn’t know. We must have made it inside The Accademia before the photographers were snapping shots of them on the street (there were lots of celebrity sightings, I’m sure. The wedding of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski took place just a few days prior in Como, Italy). There was no hubbub inside, to speak of. As adorable a couple as they were (she is super chic, by the way), the fascination was in the sculpture, as it should have been.
So, the David: he made no less of an impression on me as first time I saw him. I could have stared at him hours on end, from every angle. This sculpture was very different than earlier, sculpted interpretations of David. The others depicted him the moment after battle, foot on the head of Goliath and sword in hand. There are two schools of thought: was this moments before the ensuing battle, or was he contemplating his victory? Florence saw itself as a young David that had to contend with giants in the form of the Pope, the King of Naples, The Duke of Milan, and the Doge of Venice. Commissioned in 1501 as a testament to the pride of the Florentine Republic, Michelangelo worked from a left-over piece of marble that was abandoned by two other artists and it took him 3 years to complete the masterpiece. After debate, it was decided by a committee of the highest ranking citizens and artists, including da Vinci and Bottecelli, to place David in the main piazza, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall. A symbol of Strength and Wrath, his eyes were cast towards Rome.
I enjoyed my time at The Accademia more this time than last. We had a tour guide and she was fabulous. It’s much better to hear the stories and interpretations rather than to read abbreviated descriptions. After soaking in as much as we could in our given time, it was off to the Uffizi Gallery. Sadly, no George Clooney sighting…
If you are a Twilight fan, you must know of Volterra. The Volturi lived in this ancient Tuscan town. We made a visit to there after a busy day in Siena.
While in Siena, the day was so hot that we ducked for shade any chance we got. Due to potential heat exhaustion, we almost scrapped the Volterra plans, but decided to stick with the day’s agenda due to the proximity of the two towns.
Good decision. The drive was spectacular. Breathtaking views, sunflower fields in the valleys, hilltop views from above, and sunny skies. The music selection seemed composed especially for our drive through the winding roads to the top of the hill. Upon our arrival, the clouds pulled over us and the downpour began. With the downpour, came angry thunder, lightening, pea-sized hail and the eerie sound of a howling wolf (there is a slim chance it was a dog, but it was eerie, nonetheless). We ducked for cover in a little grocery store outside the walls and eventually made our way under one of the gate archways until the storm blew over.
When the elements became friendly once more, we made our way through the gates and into town. The streets were virtually empty (there was only a handful of tourists), but the residents began to open the windows and make their appearance above us. The skies cleared and the beauty of the town was completely exposed. Finally, we felt a breeze that we were coveting all day. We made our way up the cobblestone streets and through the main piazza, where a few people started to congregate. We strolled our way to a smaller, quaint piazza, which housed the Duomo and the Bapistry. This area was occupied by a few playing children and a priest in his black robe. There was a beautiful quiet interrupted from time to time by the flapping wings of birds flying from perch to perch and the indistinct chatter of children. I can’t remember if I heard church bells, but I will imagine I did. This was one of those magical moments that will forever be etched in my mind.
Here is good. Really good. Borgo Argenina is a medieval Hamlet and B&B set in the Chianti region of Tuscany. It dates back as early as 998 and was painstakingly restored by the Elena Nappa, the owner and it’s the most magnificent place to stay; I recommend it very much. I chose this location based on Trip Advisor reviews, as I always do, and they have yet to let me down. This place is, however, better than I imagined. Every time I pass by a window or an open door, I still get surprised. It seems as if the view must be a super-imposed image over a green screen. People really get to live here. In real life. How to make that happen? I’m brainstorming…
I’m a sucker for cute packaging. This kitschy-cuteness that was found on my Brussels Airlines flight was a bright spot during the last leg of a long day (and night) traveling. They encouraged all sorts of cozyness, spiciness and sweetness and I was happy to try to oblige. That’s right, even after so many hours of no sleep, I was reminded that traveling is supposed to be fun. Thank you for the little pick-me-up! Actually, the service on this flight was a bright spot, in and of itself. The flight attendant didn’t lose her smile once. I think the grumpy employee at the other, unnamed (I’m going to miss Continental) airline counter in Houston should take a cue: b. nice!
Later, in Tuscany, we found some more cute packaging (kind of)…