A Tuscan Retreat Part I – Sandra’s Italian Vacation

By Sandra

We took our first vacation in over 8 years that did not include a conference of some sort. Vacation this year included my entire immediate family and a cousin with her husband.

House morning1

The house in the early morning

To be honest, I worried that it was not exactly what I would consider ideal for a first vacation without work. Well, luckily I was wrong. It turned out to be the most fantastic vacation we have ever had as the setting was pristine and we all got along splendidly.

My son and his two cousins

My son and his two cousins

Tuscany was nothing short of marvelous. If you have ever read E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View, watched the film adaptation or visited yourself, you know how magical Tuscany is.

The house that we rented slept 13 and much to the delight of the kids it came with an infinity pool. We took drives to the surrounding towns of Castellina in Chianti, Cortona, Florence, Monterrigioni, San Gimignano and Volterra.



Volterra Dragon lamp1


San Gimignano1

San Gimignano



Let me share with you a few pictures of the house that we rented with its fabulous infinity pool and a few of the surrounding towns.

The Fox Who Came For Dinner...

The Fox Who Came For Dinner…

Sitting with my son1

Sitting with my son

Infinity Pool1

The infinity pool

Editor’s Note: Thank you for sharing your gorgeous pictures, Sandra! There will be a second part of Sandra’s travelogue about the city of Florence. So stay tuned!


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34 Responses to A Tuscan Retreat Part I – Sandra’s Italian Vacation

  1. patricia says:

    Beautiful pictures Sandra! I would put these pictures on my wall-I need to go somewere beautiful, may be just what the Dr ordered.
    Some of the best times in life cannot be planned, they just happen. Thank you for sharing, i really mean it.

  2. lucasai says:

    Beautiful. I’ve been to Italy once as a teenager on a camp, but never in Tuscany. I’m sure I will go there someday

  3. poodle says:

    I really love the view from the pool. That’s amazing.

  4. cookie queen says:

    One can only hope that our friendship grows enough that I can come along next year, perhaps as your cook??? 😉 xxxxxx

  5. Tara says:

    Wow Sandra, I could just dive into that amazing infinity pool right now. I’m glad your first proper vacation in 8 years was such a success and I love the snaps featuring you, your son and his cousins. Gorgeous. I just adore Italy and look forward to your Florence post.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Sandra, your photos look like something out of a dream. The kind of dream you never want to wake from! So beautiful – I’m glad you had such a grand time with your family.

    • Sandra says:

      Are you going to Italy soon? It was a beautiful dream Suzanne. Missing it since I have been back.

      • Suzanne says:

        Yes, mid-September to meet with Ines and Asali in Rome! I can’t wait! We’ll all be staying in the same flat, a place that’s close by to that hotel you recommended. My husband and I are also thinking of doing a day trip to Florence (because we’ll be there slightly longer than Ines and Asali), so I’ll look forward to reading your next installment.

        • Sandra says:

          Fantastic! You will love that area. May I contact you about the flat? For future reference? Florence is a must. You will fall in love with both cities.

          • Suzanne says:

            Absolutely, you can contact me about the flat (or anything else for that matter – I loved chatting with you last spring). 🙂

  7. Jackie b says:

    What fabulous photos!
    I can almost smell the countryside.
    Please be quick with the Florence, we are going next week!

  8. janeykate says:

    Beautiful photo’s Sandra. I love Italy! Some of my best memories are from holidays spent there. The architecture is amazing isn’t it!
    Jane x

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Jane! Loved the architecture in summer so much better than in winter. The warm sun gave the buildings a glow.

  9. Ines says:

    Wow! A lovely vacation spot. And the pool looks amazing. 🙂

  10. ringthing says:

    Blissful! Thanks for sharing your vacation Sandra, looking forward to part 2.

  11. An infinity pool! How very lucky! Looks like it was a wonderful trip. The light is so beautiful in your photos and I look forward to seeing more in the next installment!

  12. Tatiana says:

    Oh my word!! I have never been to Italy and now I want to go there tomorrow. To Tuscany! Absolutely stunning!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. I am glad you had a wonderful and relaxing time.

  13. Undina says:

    Dear Sandra, thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures. One day I will visit Italy. But for now I’ll enjoy your pictures.

  14. Ziggy says:

    Nice pics Sandra. We just came back from Tuscany as well and I know what you mean by “most fantastic”. Cant wait to go back

  15. Philipp says:

    Beautiful pictures… they make me remember my last trip to Siena two years ago.

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