Tremoleto, Lorenzana, & Fauglia: Tuscany pt. 1


We have had the incredible good fortune of being able to spend the past month in one place. As I mentioned earlier, we have been staying with Stephanie, the friend of a friend of a friend. She let us live in the downstairs area of her tri-level home in Tremoleto. You say you haven’t ever heard of Tremoleto? That’s because it’s quiet.

Tremoleto is about 30 minutes southeast of Pisa and about an hour and a half west of Florence. It is in a rural area surrounded by mixed forests of elms and Italian Stone Pines. There are numerous farms with everything from beans to vineyards to olives to pulp trees. The town of about 200+/- residents rests on top of a small knoll and is centered around an old church. There is one trattoria (Italian for a quick sit-down restaurant, not that any eating experience is actually quick), a couple of groupings of homes, and a cemetery. That’s pretty much it. And for us, after a couple of months tramping around in large cities, it was like heaven. We took long walks on the tiny roads from there, planted a garden for Stephanie, did household chores, fixed meals, and let the kids just hang out and play. I even swapped soccer jerseys with Maxmiliano the neighbor who just couldn’t figure us out. It was just what we needed.

One day I rode a bike to a town called Lorenzana located just across the valley on a neighboring hilltop. It is about three times as large as Tremoleto and even has a stoplight to help regulate the traffic down its single lane main street. Since this is the only street through town and only wide enough to handle one tiny car at a time, there is a stop light at either end of the town to regulate traffic. On the top of the hill there is a church from which we could hear the beautiful chiming of bells throughout the day, even across the way in Tremoleto. Steph watched the kids one Sunday afternoon, which afforded Meg and I the rare opportunity for a “date.” We had a typical Tuscan meal at Lorenzana’s main restaurant called La Fraschetta. I am really learning to like good food: zuppa Toscana and zuppa de farro, panne Toscana, formagio Italiano with miel, cingale sausage, and a bottle of local Chianti. All served on the patio overlooking farm valleys and forested hills as far as the eye could see. Yeah, it was romantic.

One day we decided to explore a dirt road across the highway from the entrance to our village of Tremoleto. We wandered for about an hour along farms, vineyards, and forested lanes. We found porcupine quills and wild boar burrows along the embankments. The wind was really blowing and made great sculptures in the clouds as well as ocean waves in the tall grasses on hillsides. It was really beautiful. Eventually we popped out into the tiny town of Fauglia. It too has a streetlight just like the one in Lorenzana. And just like Tremoleto and Lorenzana, and for that matter pretty much every other small Tuscan town we visited, it sat on top of a hill with and old church at its center. We were hoping for a gelateria but had to settle for a coffee bar where Sarah Jane discovered panne ciocolato. She’s been hooked ever since.

We’ve all been hooked by the beauty and pace of life here. On our last day here, Emma woke up and immediately said, “I don’t want to go. It’s so beautiful here.” That sums it up.

6 comments:

--ginger. said...

Will and I opened the picture of meg on your date and he immediatel said, "Where are the KIDS?"

We're having a good time travellig along with you--as soon as he sees me with the computer he says, "Can we see where Megan and Marty are today?"

Love to you all,

linnie said...

We too are having a wonderful time enjoying your trip (sorry we haven't posted for awhile...Spring at school...say no more, right?!) We miss you here too!

Anonymous said...

I lived in that small village for 2 years, when you come up the hill into the village just before the church where the road parts, I lived in the brick building on the left, the one tratoria in town run by Sergio, The next town over, at the bottom of the hill "Laura" has a small photo studio, very friendly couple that run it. And there is a pizzaria in Acciolo, (Spelled that wrong I'm sure), that had great food as well. E-mail me anytime if you want other places in the area that I found to be great. jpnsnow@yahoo.com

bella1047 said...

Ahhhhhhhhh....how I loved your little story of Tremoleto and the surrounding area. I have to say it made me literally cry I miss it so much! We built a house there in Tremoleto and lived there for several years until I moved back to the USA in 1995. When we moved in, our small family made it an even 100 person population. How I love my Tremoleto; thank you for the memories.

Anonymous said...

My brother and I lived in Tremoleto for one year in the early 70's, opposite the church. I recently returned to visit Maria Passetti, widow of Pierro, who used to own the bar and store. What wonderful memories. Maria's son Nedo and his ex wife Lilliana are still good friends to this day.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for blogging about your stay in Tremoleto. I will be going there in a few weeks and this part of the world means so much to me due to the fact my family lived here for centuries, primarily Fauglia, Lorenzana and Tremoleto.