Lucky enough to have scored this house in Tuscany, we spent three months in Sinalunga and enjoyed all the conveniences in walking distance: Several bars for a lovely breakfast, midday break, or afternoon snack, a wonderful ice cream place and pasticceria, and a "tabak" that sold foreign magazines should one feel a trace of delightful boredom coming on.
Not much boredom if you know how to explore Italy. Perfectly located Sinalunga is only a good hour from either Siena and Florence, two hours from Rome, and four hours from the lovely Amalfi Coast. Let's say we have added some miles to our car. Our new found love for Michelangelo and Bernini found sufficient material in either city and yet we were always looking forward to returning home. Sinalunga-home, that is.
Despite the heat wave that had Italy in its grip this summer (think 44 degrees max, an average of 39 degrees every day for almost three months), we did not suffer too badly in the great house we have rented. The A/C helped, the marble floors helped too, the location of the house was perfect with the little breeze that went through the valley. All windows open and day and night were saved.
As for the people in Sinalunga: We did not speak a word of Italian nor do many speak English (they understand, they are just too shy to speak), but we never had any problems and even made friends quickly. Blessed with sweet neighbors we had help with the garden and the cleaning, up on the piazza we were soon regulars in the great large bar and were greeted like old friends. We could say so much more about Tuscany, its beauty and the arts, but I am sure everyone knows about its reputation. You might have never heard of Sinalunga which might make it the best kept secret. True, the town itself is not too much to look at, but don't be fooled - wonderful people live there, it is the most convenient and walkable town near and far, and should you fear the hordes of tourists that steal your parking spot and preferred table at your beloved bar, it won't happen here. Sinalunga will give you an insight of how Italians life, and how they love, and laugh, and pull you into their midsts as if you ever belonged there.
Should life allow us to ever spend another summer there, we hope to be able to rent this house again. Because there is no better landlord than the one we had. Always checking in on us via text message, asking if he can be of any help. The way he helped us in the beginning was sensational, even drove up from Rome just to make sure we were alright and nothing was missing for our comfort. And that included a bottle of Prosecco and delicious regional cookies. A wonderful man with a wonderful house, generous and most kind.
We miss Sinalunga, our bar, our Latte Macciato, and the hugs every morning with wishes for a wonderful day. And a house that felt like home.