Summer lunches


We have been in our place for two weeks now and I have noticed we are eating like royalty. Obviously we all have our own opinions on what we think is a specialty item, however, when I use to buy the tight, tough little balls of mozzarella back home for $8 a piece and think that was well worth the $$$, you can only imagine the delight when I go shopping here an buy a packet of three buffalo mozzarella balls for a third of the price I pay for one back home. I have to add prosciutto, tomatoes and faro to this list, not to mention the flavour bursting melons, nectarines, peaches and strawberries.


I did think I needed to watch what I ate before arriving in Italy as I didn’t want to turn into a mozzarella ball myself. However, now that I’m here I’ve discovered I have to walk a round trip of 2km to the nearest grocery shop, and I’ve decided that is a perfect amount of walking for me to eat whatever I want when the need arises without any guilt trip.

Lunches seem to be our favoured meal of the day so far. I am trying all the different types of bread offered in our local bakery from schiacciata to Toscana bread (made with no salt) to pane con sale (made with salt). I’m even more pleased with myself that I have actually put my language skills to the test at our local bakery and ordered our daily bread in Italian from start to finish AND she understood! This is a highlight for me thus far as I usually walk into a shop, freeze, smile and then do some kind of mime to get what I came for. Usually by the end of the transaction I always walk out with something, just not what I always intended to buy. Despite my Italian teacher’s despair of me talking here in Italy, the tiny bits of Italian I did learn in Sydney are actually paying off and working for me!!


As you can see from the photos I have uploaded there is a pattern with our lunches. Tomatoes feature most frequently, along with bread and mozzarella and prosciutto. Alex has turned into a massive fan, if he had his way he’d be quite happy sitting down to a whole tomato and mozzarella ball and taking alternative bites until they were devoured! This is amazing coming from a boy who didn’t really like tomatoes back home and only wanted mozzarella on his pizza, melted.


While the sun sits high in the sky and keeps my basil plant flourishing, we will keep devouring as much cheese (OMG, I haven’t even mentioned how fabulous the pecorino cheeses are…..I’m slowly working my way around the deli!), prosciutto, tomato and anything else that looks delicious until the weather starts to cool and I venture into the kitchen and turn on the oven.

I can’t see that happening for quite a while, funnily enough I am absolutely OK with that. The only thing I have neglected to eat more of is gelato and thankfully we just discovered a great looking gelateria down the hill this morning as we meandered down for coffee and a pastry at the most fantastic pasticceria we walked past the other day, so that will be next on the list of shops to visit.

Firenze = Home


After saying goodbye to our lovely holiday in Rome we have finally made it to the beautiful hillsides of Firenze, our new home for the next year.

It’s summer in Italy and I now know why Italians pack up and leave to go on holidays in August- it’s HOT!

Born with pale, freckly skin and a very low tolerance for heat (I use to pass out when I was a kid while mum blow dried my hair!!), summer isn’t the best season for me and yet I don’t have a bad thing to say about the scorching 38 degree days that don’t cool down until about 8.30pm each night.


We arrived at our villa and were greeted by our landlords who couldn’t be more friendly, kind and warm. We were welcomed with cold glasses of iced tea and a beautiful air-conditioned room to relax in while we heard about the region, our house and lots of other things that I didn’t really understand- this is a work in progress!

I find myself smiling a lot, nodding and saying ‘si’ more than I possibly should but it feels better than saying nothing at all……I think this is called Game on Baker!


Although our house is much smaller than I thought it would be….quite a lot smaller in fact; it is very modern with high ceilings (it use to be a stable to a Strozzi villa), lots of air flow (plus a back up a/c for those still, steaming hot nights) and the most beautiful view all around us- nothing to complain about at all!!

Our place has a trail meandering straight past our gate that gets used as the local running track and when I set off on my own run/explore, it only got better with the bends and pot holes in the road. I have since been told it is an actual road but I find it hard to believe as I have never seen a car up this end of the ‘woods’ (this is the name Alex likes to call the path).

ImageLife is feeling pretty sweet right about now. I will start the Distant learning schooling in a day or so and I am sure that will whip me back into reality, but until then I am going to sit back and smell the roses I have growing in my front garden…


Watch the boys soaking up our new outdoor living space (we lived in a apartment with a tiny balcony in Sydney) and pretend I am still on holiday while Nic goes off to do his research in the beautiful grounds of Villa i Tatti.


Please note, this could be the last post where I sound relaxed and tranquil so let me enjoy it while I can…….home schooling has always been something I have never wanted to do and I do not understand why anyone would choose to do this unless it was the only possible way. Yes, I am feeling nervous about it!