Snow in Tuscany

Snow in Tuscany…

Hello Everyone!

Our apologies for being absent for a while but we’ve been moving to our new home – Fonte Martino!  We’ll write about that experience soon…

As with Toby’s blog about his Mom, although we write the blogs together, we are going to break from that and David is going to tell you a story…

With Father’s Day just around the corner, I can’t think of a better time to write about my Dad, Dave, and our March 2018 trip to Montepulciano.

Dad building a fire

Dad building a fire in our pizza oven…

But first, here’s a little bit about my Dad:  My Dad is hard working, strong, talented, accepting, giving, loving, compassionate, and brave.  There is however one word that I hear a lot and it truly fits my Dad.  The word is hero.  Now my Dad isn’t perfect, I mean, you wouldn’t want to watch him use a computer and his cooking is, well, getting better…  He also worries too much, but that one is understandable.  You see, my late mom and my dad are the two hardest working and loving people I have ever known.  We didn’t grow up with a lot but we always had what we needed, regardless of the personal hardships we endured.  I did however grow up wealthier than anyone with the amount of love and support I got from my Mom and Dad.  They supported me in no matter what I wanted to pursue, and that is priceless to me.  Because of their love and support, I was given the freedom to explore my passions, and now – I’m opening a guest house with the love of my life in Tuscany, Italy!  I shake my head every time I say that, and I always try to express my gratitude for the people that have helped me achieve this dream – especially my Dad.

Biagiotti blacksmith workshop

Biagiotti’s Blacksmith Shop

On to our trip.  This is my Dad’s first trip to Italy, his first transatlantic flight, and he’s about to visit the country of his grandparents.  I know he was excited and I also know it was surreal for him.

Our dear friend Norman picked us up and drove us to the airport, and for some reason he and my Dad enjoyed picking on us during the ride…  When we arrived at the airport we continued our tradition when taking someone to Italy for the first time to have a nice glass of Prosecco to launch our adventure.

It was a pretty good flight over but when we landed we braced ourselves for the “snow” that was forecasted.  It’s not common for Tuscany to have much snow but there was some sort of unusual system that supposedly moved in earlier in the week.  Ok, let’s just say that a Clevelander’s definition of “snow” is much more different…  However, we learned that snow tires aren’t the norm and although the roads were fine, our driveway was not!  We had to park at the bottom of the drive and walk up the hill to Fonte Martino, carrying all our luggage – and my Dad.  Ok, just kidding but he did have a couple slips which was certainly not how I wanted to introduce him to our new home town!  Oh well, we made the best of it and had a good laugh.

Montepulciano in the clouds

Montepulciano in the clouds…

After getting settled in, my Dad, who is an amazing blacksmith, made us a wonderful fire in our kitchen pizza oven.  He seemed so at home stoking a fire.  I think fire and iron are in his blood and it was so special seeing him in Italy, making a fire, and sipping red wine.  Oh yeah, lots of red wine.  I think us Italians have red wine in our blood too!  Also, to my delight, he them made us some of his incredible hot peppers.  I LOVE my Dad’s hot peppers!

The next day we decided to take a short drive to see the local blacksmith shop – Biagiotti’s.  These guys are just unbelievable master blacksmith’s and artists.  The pieces of art they create in their shop are just incredible and my Dad was like a kid in a candy store.  Every place we turned we saw jaw dropping works of art.  From the amazing chandeliers, to swords, to trees, and even a spectacular

Dad and me on my birthday

Dad and me on my birthday…

samurai warrior!  This place was very special and a must see for any tourist who appreciates artwork and ironwork.  We were so impressed with their work that we actually made an impulse purchase and bought the most amazing table that we will use for our guests.  We cannot wait to see them around it enjoying a nice relaxing breakfast.

Something else I really can’t wait to see is our new driveway gate installed that my Dad crafted with his own two hands!  Sorry but you’ll just have to wait to see photos of his masterpiece!  Hopefully it will be installed soon.

On the ride back, we came across a site that we have never seen before.  I slammed on the brakes and pulled off the road in disbelief.  My dad actually said: “am I actually seeing this?”  It was the most breathtaking view of Montepulciano I have ever seen.  The town was actually above the clouds…  It was so beautiful that it could make you weep.  It was a moment that I will never forget and I know my Dad and Toby won’t either.  What a special gift mother nature gave us that day.


A rainbow over Fonte Martino

A Rainbow over Fonte Martino…

We spent the following days exploring the countryside, had a terrific dinner with our friend Charles, and continued to manage Fonte Martino’s renovation.  However, as our trip was winding down, I knew a milestone day was coming and I was just going to have to face an inevitable fact of life – I was turning 50!  I was dreading that day, but you know what, I was in Italy with the two most important men in my life and I got to celebrate it with them.  How incredible is that…

Being the amazing husband that he is, Toby planned a really nice lunch at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try.  Sottovento was the name and it was right on the water of one of the largest lakes in Italy, Lake Trasimeno, which is about 25 minutes from Fonte Martino.  We had some delicious food, great wine, and instead of desert we walked over to the lake and watched two swans swimming away.  On top of that, as we returned home we saw the most beautiful rainbow at the end of our road.  Such a special day with such special men.  My heart was full.

But it didn’t end there!  Our incredible friend Cristina told us to come over that evening for a nice

Dad and Me

Happy Father’s Day!!!

little birthday dinner at her home.  Well, when I opened the door, it was a big surprise party with amazing wonderful friends!  Cristina and her family did it again…  They made me and my family feel so welcome and loved.  My Dad just took it all in.  We ate, drank, laughed, and created memories that will last a lifetime.

And the memories of my Dad’s first trip to Italy will also last a lifetime, and I’m so grateful that I got to share them with him.  My Dad has given me so much over my 50 years and I hope I was able to give him something special that will enrich his life like he’s enriched mine.

My Dad, my hero…