Toscana, ti amo

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Sunrise over the Passo della Futa on the way top Firenze

How very easy it is to fall in love with Tuscany—the quiet of flower-lined one-way streets, the generosity of aperitivo afternoons, the nature of smiles on sun-dappled faces. She is a home that always leaves you wanting; an infusion of appreciation as addictive as admiration. Evening will never leave you hungry: tortelli di patate, tagliolini alle verdure di stagione, gelato pistachio, pizza vegeteriana con bufala; all divine, all echoing of the rituality of ambrosia.

In Tuscany, the roofs are lined with terra cotta tiles, a tradition inherently infused with identity since the Tuscanico More outlined by Vitruvius. These tiles are never wasted, never abandoned in search of something novel, new, exciting. The value of these tiles climbs with age, in the same way as wine and cheese become more coveted as they grow older, aged and moss-cloaked tiles are treasured enablers of visual historicism. This is the most beautiful metaphor for what about our existence deserves to be appreciated: the value of the past, the irresistibility of experiences immortalized by memory. There is no place where time is as tangible as in Tuscany, you will find yourself immersed in the allure of ages past.

The journey to Albagino is defined by hardly paved streets that twist, ribbon-like, over a spine of slopes known as the ‘head of land.’[1] Easily captured by the minds-eye, the profundity of these still-forested hills echoes of a time where verticality and spirituality were intimately intertwined. We are made achingly aware of how fragile our achievement is in the face of enormity, how insignificant our intellect is when contrasted with the minds of mountains. There are few things kinder to the human psyche than incredulity towards the miracle of nature and the nature of miracles. For all our complexity, we are a bombastically simple species, easily obsessed with patterns and orthopraxy, blinded in the face of balminess. Tuscany gives the glorious gift of shock, an opportunity to reprogram our civilized rush into something soft, gentle, and timeless.

Avoid the paralysis of a tourism-fueled craze, the heat waves of asphalt-blanketed urban centers, search instead for the preserved corners of authenticity, the piccolo città, the unheralded sanctuary of sacred sites. We have been so blessed by the endlessness of our own opportunity, dedicate yourself to the glorious pursuit of those minute awe-filled moments in the face of something so much grander than us. Grazie Toscana ti amo.

[1] The Latin Apenninus (Italian Apennines) is thought to be derived from a Celtic term penn meaning ‘head of land.’