As I am starting to type this article, laying with my computer on an antique pink quilt thrown on a wrought iron bed, a swallow flies into my bedroom at La Pieve Marsina, a Tuscan retreat in the middle of the Chianti hills.
She greets me cheerfully with a few, rapid wing beats before shooting out of the window, gliding briskly/swiftly over the endless rows of vines outside.
I found this to be the perfect welcome to my Tuscan villa named “Le Rondini”, which in English means – you guessed it – “swallows”!
These beautiful birds belong a time that no longer exists. They used to crowd my barnyard when I was a kid, fringing our canopies with beautiful mud nests. Their flocks, coming and going to and from Africa, represented the passing of the seasons. No matter what the calendar said, it wasn’t really spring until they came.
Now that the pollution, the use of pesticides and colder springs made their life harder, swallows in the north of Italy are mostly gone.
Here in the middle of the rural Chianti, where the closest supermarket is 30 Km away, the time seems to have stopped. And the chirping of the swallows create the perfect soundtrack for our time at the La Pieve Marsina.
This Tuscan retreat, surrounded by rolling hills combed with Chianti vineyards, is the modern transformation of a rural tiny village composed by a few farmhouses surrounding a small parish church (“pieve” in Italian).
Today that little chapel became the reception of this enchanting agritursimo, and right next to it is the beautiful apartment “Le Rondini”, where Alec and I had the best time cooking, relaxing and just being present while staring at the greenery around us.
We spent our days walking up and down the hills, laying by the pool and playing with the lovely dachshund Pippa, who kept on running around with her ears flapping gleefully.
If you are looking to detach from the modern world and avoid the temptation of going out, this place is the perfect gateway. A time machine that can bring you back to en era where our life wasn’t run by technology and you could enjoy the melodious singing of the swallows.