October in Tuscany
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The Countryside

 

From my window I could see olive trees, then oaks, and across the valley a fortress and vineyard. At night the entire hillside had lights here and there.

 

Tuscany is known for its wine. Many of the vineyards and other types of farms were primarily agriculture, but also were had tourists staying and/or dining on their farms. The farm where I was staying had olive orchards.

In the valleys, the farmers raised corn and sunflowers. Once we saw them cutting the corn, grinding it into silage, then putting it in a truck to haul away. The beans had been harvested; so I did not see any bean vines.

We saw lots of gardens. Since I had only saw then from the bus, I only spotted some artichokes and tomatoes.

Among the farm animals, cows seemed to rank low in numbers. There were many herds of sheep. They raised pigs and there were several nights when pork was in the main dish. And just as we, Italians like their horses. Typically I saw herds of sheep, and a few cows, but never a herd of cows.

I was surprised to know they did hunt wild boar and pheasants. Fall was the season to hunt them and over and over we heard gun shots. Once I saw a man dressed in his hunting outfit with his dog.

There were many signs warning of the deer, but we did not see a lot of deer in comparison to the number of road signs.

The Roads

The roads went straight up the ridges. Even though the area where we were was mountainous, they were not as steep as our coast range. Because they were not, most roads could go along ridge tops. Some times the ridges were none too wide either.

The old cities and towns were almost always on a hilltop. They also had narrow streets where buses could not go. Every city we visited had a place for buses to let off passengers. They either parked or drove elsewhere to park. The small Italian cars navigated much better.

 

We will be going to Sienna next.

 

 

 

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