Our journey that is Goodtaste.tv began in this European sun-kissed country some nine years ago when we spent two glorious weeks exploring by car. It wasn’t our first trip to Italy—the first few sojourns here only whetted our appetite for more. We craved more of the scenery, the food, wine and most importantly, the Italians’ la dolce vita…their ability to find harmony and beauty and joy in every single day.
This recent trip was planned with a group of 20 people– 10 couples, most we’ve known for years and all with a great appreciation of travel, food, wine and most of all good friends. We came for all of the above and also to celebrate a wedding amongst our group, a romantic ceremony that took place under the wisteria-laced gazebo on the patio at our temporary Italian home.
For the first week, we lived the Tuscan dream—and that’s no exaggeration. Our fun loving group called the beautiful, spacious Villa Laura home. This gorgeous, manicured 17th century Italian estate, that sits a couple of minutes outside the walls of the charming village of Cortona, was actually the backdrop and set for the movie Under the Tuscan Sun based on the the best-selling, dream inspiring book by Frances Mayes. The house fans of the both know as Bramasole.
(BTW, the REAL Bramasole wasn’t the same house used in the movie.)
Our 10 couples filled every bedroom in the villa, which is made up of a main house and the spacious farmhouse where Mike and I stayed. The dining room and kitchen below are in the farmhouse.
Both were breathtakingly gorgeous, some of the bedrooms small by our American standards but luxurious, updated and hey, we’re in Tuscany—life is good!
The breakfasts we shared at the villa were mostly a group affair—music, merriment and lots of love poured into every meal, as it should be. I couldn’t help but think how we Americans are missing something about life that these Italians have known for centuries. Nothing beats the luxury of time, good food, good friends and of course – fantastic wine!
Photo Credit: Skip Shumpes
With Villa Laura, or as you prefer Bramasole as our backdrop, we explored the Tuscan hills and the quaint, beautiful town of Cortona. More on that to come. A special thank you to Corporate Travel Planners for handling the logistics on this portion of our journey and to my friends at AT&T for mobilizing my world!