Thursday, 14 August 2014

Under The Tuscan Sun...and Moon

Last year, I joined my friends for a fitness holiday in Sicily which you can read in the linked four-part post via Fitness Sicilia 2013, Villa di Bella, Zafferana, and Taormina, or at least browse the photos.

This year, Davide, my instructor, took the holidays closer to his hometown of Montecatini Terme in Tuscany. What made this year's trip extra-special was a whole lot of family and close friends were involved. Davide's babbo Valerio was our chef, assisted by his wife Luisella and feisty cousin Sonia, who was also our official photographer. It was indeed a family affair, which is very Italian I must say.

If you remember my trip to Amsterdam last year, which you can read here, I met someone I've since grown to be very close to. He and his partner flew in from Amsterdam to join me. As WL has recently been certified as a Zumba instructor, he also danced some routines while in Toscana, to the delight of everyone, which I'm very proud of as he's such a very dear friend. He, his partner, and I had a good laugh and shared lots of in-jokes which most could have gotten lost in translation. At this year's fitness holiday, I met another amore whom we'll call Kylie. Yes, he's obsessed with the pop star. There's no denying that gay men and I are just automatically drawn towards each other, I just can't escape the mutual attraction. From the below photo, he's the one tired from watching all of us sweat to his too-sexy-for-his-shirt childhood friend's Zumba moves.

The cast of Fitness Toscana 2014

This first of a series of Toscana posts will feature random photos that encapsulate the trip for me, and serve as a peek to what's next. I'll keep this short and sweet. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts.

Yes, it's not only Bugs Bunny who fancies carrots. I had to take a photo of this bunch that was somehow placed on display in the villa's balcony. I haven't seen carrots as fit and lean and food-styling perfect. Even this is quite Italian, like a woman wearing hoop earrings and scarf while stirring pasta sauce in the kitchen.

Davide asked me in utter excitement, "have you seen the onions?", like asking me if I have seen his new Sailor Moon costume. These, by far, were the most aesthetically pleasing I've seen in my entire onion-shopping life. Mademoiselle Poirot, an interior design stylist blogger and photographer, generously gifted me with a photo I raved about of her styled red onion, slice of lemon, and garlic bulb which I'm yet to print and place in the kitchen. I equate seeing beauty in fresh vegetables and ingredients to loving food. I so loved the food dished out by babbo Valerio that for the first time, I'd be disappointing food porn fanatics for not taking photos of any. All I wanted was to sit down and enjoy the meals and wine lovingly prepared for us. Perfezione!

Everytime Sonia would drive us around, the breeze would lull me to sleep, then I always woke up to this sight of sunflower fields. This blurry shot was taken quickly while I fumbled with my mobile phone camera on the way to Porto Santo Stefano en route to Isola del Giglio and Giannutri. In my late teens, I used the scent Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden, and it always remind me of carefree summers spent with friends.

The pool at Le Corti di Montepitti in Suvereto where I partly grilled myself to well-done perfection.

The last time I had a lunch box/bag, I was 15. So I cannot tell you how much 'oohhing' and 'aaahhinng' I did when I was presented this one which was made in Colombia and brought over to Italy. For beach or island trips that had to be made during lunch hours, Valerio and his team prepared packed lunches for all us. Mine came in this little pressy, which I intend to keep as a souvenir.

Under the Tuscan skies....

The scarf top. The scarf belt. We are.

It took ages for me to caption this. I gave up. It's one of those images that I'll allow to speak for itself.

Just happy

Enjoyed the solitude

And looking through other people's open doors

Under the Tuscan moon...when the commemorative beam of light was lit in London in honour of those who fought and lost their lives during World War I, the Tuscan moon was simultaneously big and bright

Credit goes to Sonia, WL, and Leonard for some of the photos and montage featured here. On certain occasions, I like having my paparazzi, for our real personalities are captured when we don't know we're being photographed. 

Next post, I'll take you to a medieval town somewhere in Toscana. See you there!


  1. I can see from these photos that you have had a fun time. I try not to miss my weekly Zumba class as it's the best kind of exercise for me as it keeps me motivated. One of the things i love about trips to Italy and France too is the quality of the fruit and veg - such intense flavours which you just don't get with supermarket produce. I'm looking forward to your next post!

    1. I'm still recovering from this trip. Sad. No more bank holiday posts. You're right, the fruits and vegs aren't the same here in the UK. Much fresher in Italy and France. Yes I did have lots of fun. More posts to follow!

  2. How cool that you got to spend such a great time in Tuscany with a group of great people. Not sure I would ever go on a fitness holiday (I'm a bit lazy) but from what you described yours, it seems more like fun than boot camp. Thanks for sharing the sunny photos.

    1. I didn't do much fitness this time to be honest. Yeah it's never a boot camp. I would never go if it was. More posts to follow :)


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