Gathering Ideas

I am in Tuscany gathering ideas for my new novel, The Wish Bird. While learning the language, I’m visiting the many medieval towns, gazing in awe at the glorious countryside, taking in the sun

and observing the different customs which of course I won’t ever truly understand unless I live in Italy for an extended period of time. I am still seeing through the eyes of an Australian.
I was in San Giovanni Valdarno, (30 minutes from Florence by train), for two weeks, studying Italian at a small language school called Il Sillabo. The wonderful thing about this medieval town is the fact that there are no tourists – except for the few language students – so it gave me the perfect opportunity to observe the comings and goings of the local people. And staying with a host family who couldn’t speak English also added to this feeling of taking part in the local life instead of just being just an observer.
Now I am staying in the beautiful 200 year old farmhouse of a friend. It is called Romito, which means hermit. To get here you need to go up a winding road to the top of a hill. If I had to put it on the map I would say it is close to Siena. The view is magnificent and it is surrounded by an olive grove and a vineyard. Romito produces its own delicious olive oil.
Jeffrey Smart the well known Australian painter, is a friend of the friends we are staying with and we had dinner with him last night. At the age of 89 is still exhibiting! What an amazing man.

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14 thoughts on “Gathering Ideas

    1. Yes, Sheryl, Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber. One of the locals pointed to a field that had just been tilled and said that’s where the colours came from. I’d never thought of it before.

  1. Just heavenly. You’re so very lucky to be doing what you do Gabrielle but I’m sure you’ve earned every second of it. Enjoy! 🙂

  2. A La Dolce Vita! May you gather many wonderful ideas Gabrielle and as many delicious memories to feast upon later on. Keep on enjoying your travels and thank you for sharing glimpses with us. Dimity

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