ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Week in Paradise

After two days in Florence we picked up our car and headed to San Gimignano. My husband seemed to fret for weeks about driving out of the Florence airport, but it was quite straightforward and we made it to San Gimignano without a hitch (the GPS we rented was invaluable!).

Arriving at our Agriturismo, Guardastelle, we found ourselves driving up a lane lined with cypress strees. An Agriturismo is basically a farm vacation, and there are such accommodations all over Italy. Susanna and Fausto, the young couple who run Guaradastelle with a passion, also grow grapes and produce wine.
We had a bedroom called "Sybile" in the main farmhouse. There are also several small cottages scattered around the property.
You can imagine my delight on my first morning at Guardastelle, when I woke, looked out my window and saw this paradise:
Each morning we enjoyed the Tuscan landscape while eating breakfast on this beautiful patio. I also sat here at night, under a Tuscan moon and stars, listening to the crickets sing while I checked my email.
The scenery everywhere around this area was classic Tuscany: peaceful, idyllic and beautiful.
We were so busy seeing the sights that I didn't even get into the pool until the last day. I wished I had had an additional week in which to relax at Guardastelle and use the pool daily.
From the patio, the town of San Gimignano with its medieval towers and walls was only a 1 km walk (3 km drive) away. Using my zoom lens I was able to bring the sight closer.
San Gimignano is a beautiful town, and you will see some of its doors, windows, walls and arches in a future blog post. Shopping there is also great, and I enjoyed it more than Florence because the shops are concentrated in a small area and geared at tourists. Although tour buses visit San Gimignano daily, there are still many quiet streets you can enjoy on any day, good restaurants, and lots of gelato and cappucino!
In my next post I will share some of the achingly beautiful sights we captured in the countryside and small medieval villages we visited.


  1. I see quilt art potential in each of your photos. Is it fair to say you are thinking about using the magnificent vistas in your art in the future? Wouldn't the purses you showed make a great picture. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ciao Elaine, how are you?
    It's Fausto from Guardastelle!! I just found this magnificent blog post, thank you so much!!

    Do you think to come back visit again some day?

  3. Ciao Fausto! What a pleasant surprise to find you here. I have such wonderful memories of staying at Guardastelle. I don't think I've ever stayed at a more beautiful place. Would love to come back again!


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