Arcidosso, Grosseto, Tuscany

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Evelyn had warned me earlier that we will be couch-surfing at Lorenzo’s Place and that means that we have to share the place with other couch-surfers. She had told me that the place is like a dorm. When we reached, there was actually no beds for us. Lorenzo had to borrow a bed for Evelyn while converting a sofa to a bed lined with big cushions for me. As I was tired and sleepy, any bed will do for me. We settled the night sleeping with 3 layers of blanket. Lorenzo does not have a heater but I am ok with that.

As agreed earlier, the deal was that Lorenzo provide us place to sleep for free and we just have to help him with his garden and cooking. Both Evelyn and me decided to help him at his garden; you know pick olive fruits and things like that.

The morning came and breakfast was Tuscan bread (rubbed with garlic clove and spread with fresh-pressed olive oil, seasoned to taste with salt) and coffee. I love the real Italian breakfast idea! The breakfast is called Fettunta. I am so ok with this. I will use the idea to make my own breakfast (or snack) at home; but maybe with addition of chopped olive fruit and cherry tomato and come up with Fettunta Al Oliva e Pomodoro! But the real challengeis to look for Tuscan bread in Malaysia but perhaps I can just use French bread that I can easily get at home.

Later after that we went down the hill to get to his new garden. He actually has 4 gardens and the new one is a green project where he designed the whole garden to have the word ‘Arcidosso’ in a form of trees. I imagined picking olive fruits and did not expected to be working on a new garden. The soil was hard and I had to help get good soil further down near a river. Being a sedentary woman who sits behind her sketchpad and watercolors and laptop all the time, I was not prepared for this. I am not ok with this hahaha. I had a backache after few scoops of soil. I later went up back to the garden to help Evelyn separates rocks from hard soil. It was easy as we just had to sit and gather rocks and later spread them on the pavement of the garden. A little bit after afternoon, Lorenzo said that we could leave the work and explore Arcidosso. We were happy to run away from the garden. Haha!

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Lorenzo (in green) and his wife (in purple) working with other couch-surfers at his garden.

We took a walk and take photos around the village. Here are some pictures that I like to share:

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Arcidosso is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Grosseto in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 100 km south of Florence and about 35 km northeast of Grosseto and near the town of Montalcino.

The first certain documentation of the existence of the settlement of Arcidosso is from the year 860, when it is said to belong to the Abbey of San Salvatore. In 1331, Guidoriccio da Fogliano besieged it for four months with an army of 4,000 soldiers and 400 horsemen, until it surrendered. After the fall of the Republic of Siena in 1556, it passed under the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Cosimo I de’ Medici established many outlying offices here.

Following the Leopoldina Reformation of 1786, there was a remarkable population increase and the number of Arcidosso’s citizens quadrupled in about 100 years. Arcidosso thus became historically the most important political and administrative center in the Monte Amiata area.

We spent the last night at Lorenzo’s Place before heading out the next morning (as early as 7am to catch the 7.20am bus) to head to Florence before heading to Bologna. We missed the 8.20am bus to Firenze and had to wait for the next bus at 9.15am. Taking the Florence route is much nearer as Florence is also in the same Tuscany region and the journey took about 1 and a half hours. We reached Firenze around 11am.

Upon reaching Florence, we went for lunch (Pizza al Pomodoro and coffee) at the Florence Santa Maria Novella train station and later bought our tickets to Bologna (around 1pm). While waiting for our train, we just walked around the station doing a window shopping.

Getting to Florence: KLM operated 2 time(s) daily from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Florence – Peretola (FLR).

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