A slice of paradise
Have you ever wondered how it is to be in your “happy place”? I did not expect to meet my happy place so soon, but when I woke up on the 27th of June and went out of the house, I knew I found one. That was the moment I stepped out of the house, and stood on a beautiful terrace with a big table in the middle of a forest. At that moment, I had no idea what was waiting for me on the other side of the forest.
Standing there quietly, I inhaled the fresh morning air. Surrounded by the trees, I saw a light at the end of the road that made me go there. I just knew there was something more. I was hoping it would be something beautiful (because I had heard rumors about that before:)). Coming closer to the light, I could see the first leaves on the vines and a few green, unripe grapes hanging under the leaves when the real thing came: A breathtaking, beautiful, stunning and fantastic view, no matter where I looked: the Tyrrhenian Sea and Casale Maritiimo on the far side of the valley with vineyards, olive trees, and yellowish fields mixed with dark green cypresses. It was a picture-postcard view, but with the sound and smell. It was the moment I knew I had found my happy place. Then the SMS came.
An SMS that made me wonder – is it really true? The feeling that I have, the air that I breathe, the eight months of waiting for this moment. Was it just a dream? It turned out that it wasn't just mine. It was ours – for those who lived down the hill closer to the farm, too. It was the same amount of shocking happiness and joy with different, but still breathtaking view.
To make a long story short – if you ever wonder where to spend vacation in Tuscany, Italy , or just where to spend any vacation, then don't think too much. OT Homes is THE place. If you ask me what is so special about that place, I would answer – nothing and everything. It is the kind of place where everything is so simple, but when you meet dear Eliza, Rocco, Massimo, and the farm boys who feed the pigs and horses every day, and when you sit on the terrace and enjoy the silence or the horses whispering, then you know. Everything is special about this place. True – it is not only the place that makes it special, it is everything – attention to detail, attitude, view, people, and possibilities, and all of that is there.
Before I start to tell you more about what OT Wines, Homes, horses and everything else is (that will be in another story), there is something more you need to know:
The sea is 15 minutes away, either the white beaches of Bibbona or Vada.
Casale Marittimo, Taverna via di Mezzo – a must for every dish they serve and especially for local snails and pappardelle with wild boar. Don't forget to ask for grappa soaked grapes as a digestif – OMG. And then there is Dossagio Zero – with beautiful Barbara and her husband Valter and their partner. The wine selection is amazing and the snacks are too. No wonder it is always full. We could not get enough of that place.
Beautiful marble hills, where fantastic marble comes from and also where the world famous Lardo di Collonata is made, is just a 1.5 h drive.
Charming and famous Bollgheri with its wines and the region’s best ice cream place is just a 15 minute drive.
Bibbiona – 10 minutes at 50 km/h offers the unique and fantastic pizza place L'orto Etrusco and one of the region’s best restaurants – Io Cuccino. A must.
La California – all roads lead to California with its Pasticceria Bar Celli where you will die happy having eaten their freshly baked croissants or some of their local cakes. Osteria Gabbani – pure gold for lunch or dinner. Celli bakery (a few houses towards Cecina) will make cantuccini lovers happy. The butcher shop ...... has a perfect selection for great meat, and let me tell you that the grilled chicken and sausages were too good to be true. They also sell (strangely) amazing anchovies.
Livorno – just 40 minutes (the best is to drive along the small coastal road) and you are at the beautiful market building that sells some nice local produce. The city offers good shopping options that have to be finished with the amazing and traditional cacciucco fish soup at Antico Moro restaurant on this scary little street.
San Vincenzo – beaches, shops, local ice cream in La Granita, long walks, and some nice bars.
Cecina – Tuesday market (skip the clothes section, though) is a must with fresh local ricotta, mozzarella, buratta, and other cheeses. Grab some salsiccia, porchetta, and eggs from the locals as well as all the possible local fruits and veggies at stands where locals sell LOCAL produce. There are some old ladies (smoking like chimneys) and some organic producers. Skip the big shout-out, loud screamers, unless you don't care what you eat.
I did not go here, but I will in 2018 (a few of those houses are already booked, folks) – Firenze, Lucca, Sienna (would love to try the famous panforte there) and Volterra.