Ciao Crafty People!!! I'm back home, and it's been a whirlwind of family activities, not to mention bad internet connection since, so that is why I am FINALLY here to give you my first of a triple scoop (Gelato still on my mind...sorry!) of the Artful Adventures in Tuscany with Tim Holtz. Each post will be heavy laden with photos and info, so you have your eye work cut out for you should you choose to go along with me on this trip. By the way, Tim has fabulous recaps of the trip over on his website as well, as does Jim, the Gentleman Crafter.
Three of us girls left West Texas, and headed to the Big Apple for a night before we left for Italy. We hit the town and saw a Broadway Play called Kinky Boots. It was a great show...heartwarming and funny!
|Me, Paula, and Pam on the airplane.|
Day 1: Montecatini Terme
Then finally, we were on our way over the Atlantic to Italy. We arrived in Pisa nine hours later the next day, and not a one of us were tired. We were ready for adventure, and our first one was to the uber wonderful town of Montecatini Terme, where we laid our head for the next eight nights at the Grand Hotel & La Pace, the ultimate Inn I tell you! We were expecting a very basic place, and were told to have an open mind...that not only the culture was different, but that the hotel amenities were not what we might be used to, so we expected the worse naturally. Boy was our tour guide Jim West of Scrap Map right! It's a whole lot different...better! I felt like a princess in this place! I truly kept thinking I was dreaming, and kept asking myself what I did to deserve this! The hotel room was my vacation already! I could have stayed here the whole time and would have been perfectly happy.
|The Grand Hotel & La Pace|
|The three windows with the triangular caps on the very right, three floors up, was mine and Pam's room. A place I absolutely fell in love with...a hotel room like no other I've ever stayed in...pure luxury and peacefulness.|
|This was our huge living room, complete with fine antique furnishings and art work, a refrigerator, and just beyond those drapes is...|
|...Balcony #1. The glass doors open to reveal the most awesome heavy duty shutters. You can open them like vents or slide them back to enter the balcony.|
|The view from Balcony #1.|
|The bathroom was wonderful! I love the tile, the tub, and the bidet. Oh my gosh, a bidet! I've never even seen one in person much less used one! Now I need one in West Texas!|
|Each room was totally different from the next, and I am told that several people didn't have the shower/tub like we did. We were very fortunate!|
|And just beyond the bidet were the doors that lead to Balcony #2.|
|It was not a walk out balcony, but it was wonderful to open to let in the cool air while taking a hot bath. The view was nice too, and I loved saying hi to passers by below...dressed of course!|
|The bedroom was amazing with ample storage, and fine linens. Every night, we had turn down service with lots of little extras.|
|The armoire had glass front drawers on each side and in the middle was a long clothing rod with plenty of space for the mounds of luggage we lugged around.|
|The view from Balcony #3 in the bedroom.|
|This is a fuzzy shot, but I wanted to take this gorgeous statue home so badly. She was beautiful!|
The town of Montecatini Terme is known for it's thermal spa waters bubbling underneath. People come from all over to drink the waters for medicinal purposes to cure them of their ails. There are many spas around, as well as boutique shops, eateries, gelaterias, bakeries, and high end stores among the old buildings and churches. The food was fabulous at every place I visited, but the bakery Pasticceria Giovannini was my favorite place, any time of day, and the gelato just up from the hotel...can't remember the name...was the best I had.
The oldest running Funicular Railroad Car in the world is also located in the town, and runs you up to the picturesque village of Montecatini Alto. The views were fabulous, especially at night, and the narrow cobblestone streets between the oh so wonderful castle, houses, stores, and restaurants were pure vintage eye candy! The food at La Torre Signorelli was most excellent there.
|I loved the etchings on the walls.|
|Even the trash cans are cute!|
Thanks for joining me for Part 1. I hope you enjoyed a few of the many photos (1,210 to be exact) I took of this marvelous adventure!