I have been a regular visitor to Montisi for about ten years since my brother and his wife bought a property on its outskirts. Their house is about half a mile from the village, up a track through olive groves and scrub land. Cypress trees, umbrella pines and oak trees surround the old farmhouse and you can see the remains of an ancient vineyard. Typical of many in the area, the house was downstairs a shelter for livestock with living space above, accessed only by an external staircase. Times have changed and now it’s restored to be a comfortable home.

The views from all directions are spectacular. The village of Montisi, over a valley to the south east is about half a mile away while to the west, across miles of undulating countryside of fields, woods and olive groves, is Siena. On a really clear day you can see the mountains at La Spezia on the coast. At night, you can see the lights of other farmhouses on the way to Siena which twinkles invitingly on the horizon.

All is very peaceful here with much wild life to admire – lizards, birds and fireflies. Sometimes, early in the morning, a balloon drifts past giving some intrepid visitors incredible views of the majestic Crete Sienese with its intriguing and beautiful grey landscape. It is like being in a painting—what a place!

Some memories and random thoughts –

Several street parties in the village with loads of food and wine.

Children and their families enjoying times together after the Giostra.

The warm welcome, everyone is friendly and hospitable.

The football on a big screen in the village cinema. Good humoured audience in both victory and defeat.

The ‘ knicker-platz ‘ as we call it, or the Outlet Village at Bettole, we are always hoping to find that great piece of Italian fashion.

The rows of vegetables  at Coop supermarket, especially the tomatoes.

Then of course there is the ice-cream and I haven’t even mentioned the wine!

If you are reading this, do go. I look forward to my invitation every year.

Judy – summer 2017