Posted by Gail Hecko – Gail’s Great Escapes
There is a rhythm to life in a small medieval Italian village. The seasons pass as they do elsewhere, but slowly and distinctly. High notes and low notes.
The autumn highs are marked by harvests and festivals, with incredibly clear blue skies and starlit nights. The air is fragrant with wood-smoke, olives being pressed, and the fermentation of vin santo grapes. Shutters open to early morning breezes and ethereal mists crouching low in the valley.
Voices rise from the street in a harmony of excitement, anticipation and pleasure. Birdsong, church bells, the sultry hum of cicadas, the laughter of children, all contribute to this seasonal symphony.
The harsh arrival of the low notes startles. Wind forces its fingers through the cracks and crevices of the ancient buildings and whistles for attention. Stones turn cold and damp. Bare feet tiptoe across the frigid floor.
The windows frame angry gray clouds pouring rain on the thirsty hills. Shafts of sunlight tease fallow fields with a moment of warmth, a golden gift. Shutters stay closed keeping Nature’s dissonance out. Sounds from the street are few. Staccato voices low and quick.
Andante, andante, the concert continues with a reprise. The music lifts once again to the glorious high notes, never truly out of reach, always on the next page.
The rhythm in a small village continues as it has for centuries. Ruled by the seasons and Nature, its destiny of high notes and low notes a perpetual reminder of the dance of life.
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Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.
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Gail Hecko, the owner of Gail’s Great Escapes, shares her passion for Italy and Southern Tuscany through week-long tours. She lives half the year now in the medieval village of Montisi where she is always on the look-out for interesting experiences for her guests. The concept of her tours is to be on-site to provide information about the area without having every day planned as a group outing.
On Monday of each week, there is a group winery and cheese-tasting tour with Pino, and one evening a visit to a local restaurant together. Other days, the guests decide what they want to do – their interest, their pace. No stress, no schedule but the one they make for themselves. Art lessons, cooking classes, ballooning, great food and wine, and new friends, culminate in an “Under The Tuscan Stars” party each week.
There is a peaceful simple spirit in Montisi. It’s magical.