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Tuscany and Florence

After a few days in Rome, we continued to explore Italy with a visit to a fabulous Tuscany. The villa Casale Podernovo was incredible and we had it all to ourselves. Our friends, Nicky and Nick, and Marc's parents and his brother, Lars, had traveled with us from Rome. We were joined in Tuscany by our friends Barbara, Wolfgang, Bettina and Daniel, Jaimee, Lisa, Cecile and Roland, and Sara and Olivier. After arriving, we had a great dinner at a quaint local restaurant.

Cecile, Bettina and Barbara

Roland and Cecile

Lisa and Jaimee

Sara and Olivier


The next morning we explored our neighborhood by taking a short walk. Even within that hour, we got a nice impression of the scenery. Upon our return, we met up again with our friends, who had explored other parts of the area. Barbara bought Stefan and Sebastian a couple of toy dragons that were an instant hit with the boys.

Wolfgang and Bettina

Bettina and Cecile

Roland and Barbara

Jana, Wolfgang and Bettina

The dragon is great

We also managed to visit the city of Pisa during the afternoon. It was absolutely necessary to get the all-important "holding the tower" pictures taken. You can see our various attempts below.

Brotherly love...

...in action


Before we celebrated Marc's birthday party, our hosts at the villa took us on a tour of their vineyard and operations.


The day after Marc's birthday party, we spent most of the day in the wonderful city of Florence. We had a tour guide give us a brief tour of the historic city center and spent some time in the Uffizi museum, which contained a lot of famous art works. Afterwards we took a few additional moments to explore the city and then headed back to have dinner in a very local restaurant.

Arno River

Marc in action

Piazza della Signoria

David by Michaelangelo

Neptune fountain

Rape of the Sabine Women

Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus

The Rape of Ployxena

Perseus beheading Medusa

Street artist

Ponte Vecchio

The Dome

San Lorenzo