By Marion Ueckermann @ueckie
When one hears the word Tuscany, one cannot help but be swept away by the sheer romance and beauty of the place conjured up by the name. I mean, look at that cover image...doesn't it make you want to travel there and fall in love?
That's what happened to fellow author, Autumn Macarthur and I about eighteen months ago.I got an email one evening from Autumn saying something to the effect of, "Hey, why don't we put a multi-author set together?" At that time, I was busy writing A Romance for Rose with some scenes in Tuscany. So I suggested Tuscany as a storyworld option. Autumn loved the idea because she had a character from her book Least Expected who needed her story told. And there was a link back to Tuscany in that book. You can read more about what we've planned in this 9-book multi-author series titled A Tuscan Legacy in my blog this week on Inspy Romance
To get an idea of what we have planned in Tuscany, watch our promo video on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Wys-lEjBI&t=6s or our Facebook page
Around that time, I was planning a trip overseas to visit my son, Kyle, in Finland, and my brother and his wife in the UK. Kyle suggested as I'd be that side of the world and I was planning two books set in Italy for this series, one in Tuscany and one in Rome, that hubby and I should plan a stopover in Italy too. And that's how our month-long holiday stretched into six weeks.
Today, I'd like to share a few photos of our time in Tuscany.I might even throw in one or two of Rome as well. Soon we'll have a photo album of both these places on A Tuscan Legacy's website , however, where you'll be able to enjoy many more of my wonderful Tuscan memories. Follow our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/atuscanlegacy/ page to see when we post the website link (as soon as the site is ready for the world to see).
I chose this picture below to start off with because it reminded me of so many things I loved in Tuscany—the walled villages perched on hilltops, the undulating hills dotted with hay bales (see next photo), and the narrow cyprus-lined roads leading to villas and interesting villages. This is Tuscany!
One of my favorite images in Tuscany was the hay bales. Sometimes they were neatly stacked like here, and other times they lay scattered in newly-cut fields. The first-cut hay, or maggengo, is cut in May/June, the second-cut hay in August, and the third-cut hay in September. Obviously the first-cut is the best quality. So glad we got to see the maggengo.
was the first little village we decided to stop in a on our way to our hotel. And I'm so glad we did because this quaint place with its very own Michelin-star restaurant for eight years running, features in the storyworld for A Tuscan Legacy's first book, That's Amore. We had fun exploring the alleys and courtyards and old church.
Bosco Della Spina,
with its perfect views and wisteria-laden pergolas near Murlo, was the hotel we stayed at for four incredible days. Have a look at some of the photos from there and you'll soon see why this became my location of choice for my heroine in That's Amore's first days in Tuscany. The window views are from our lounge window (which was mine and hubby's bedroom as we gave my son and his wife the privacy of the bedroom. But with a morning view like this, I wasn't complaining!)
FloraI can't only show you the beautiful views, now can I? I wanted to share these three photos of this strange tree formation, wild poppies (and it was only the beginning of the poppy season), and the overgrown jasmine creepers that left a pungent aroma everywhere. I loved it! But as much as I loved the smell of jasmine hanging in the air, the tiglio tree (lime tree) was like jasmine on steroids. I've never smelt something so incredible—first in Florence, and then one evening in Modena (yes, where the balsamic vinegar comes from).
I'd be cheating you if I didn't let you see a little Italian cuisine, wouldn't I? This was the dessert hubby and I shared one night (traveling abroad on a weak rand, many things were shared LOL). It was at this same dinner that I discovered pici pasta—thick, hand-rolled pasta originating from Tuscany. I loved it so much, I had to try make it when I got back home (see pics below). Why not try it yourself sometime...totally worth it!
Walled medieval village
Finally, I want to take you on a whirlwind tour around Buonconvento that features briefly in That's Amore. Buonconvento is purportedly one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. We could see why.
No visit to Italy would be complete without sampling their gelato. Daily! Sometimes more than once. Three scoops in a sugar cone. This little gelato shop in Buonconvento had the best we tasted in Italy. My favorite (as is my heroine), was dark chocolate, mango (only because I couldn't find orange), and I think I topped it with lemon, or limone as the Italian's say.
The famous Italian scooter
I just had to add in this photo. I'm sure you're going to love reading about strong-headed Alessa buzzing around Rome on her Vespa in A Tuscan Legacy book 4, Ti Amo.
Before I go, I just had to pop on over to the next village we visited and share four special photos from there. Bagno Vignoni is in the hamlet of San Quirico d'Orcia and is situated on a hill above the Val d'Orcia (valley of d'Orcia where all these other villages we visited are to be found). It's well-known for its hot springs and hubby and son couldn't resist trying out the thermal pool at the bottom of the hill below the village.
It was in Bagno Vignoni that we discovered the yummiest sandwiches and this wonderful old Italian woman. I just couldn't resist sneaking a few photies of her. All in the name of research.
Let me leave you with one last image of Tuscany...the sunset. And believe me, these photos do no justice to how beautiful it was.
PS. Sorry there wasn't space to fit in anything of Rome, and I've barely scratched the surface of Tuscany. Perhaps on my next blog, althought that could be a while as I'll be stepping back from blogging on ICFW due to enormous writing projects scheduled this year. But who knows, maybe I'll find some spare time to share the odd blog here or there. And if I don't, you can always visit A Tuscan Legacy's website to enjoy more of Tuscany, Rome, and Florence...the places to be found in my Tuscan Legacy books.
About Marion Ueckermann
Marion Ueckermann's passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places. Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest's no longer so empty.