I woke on this day more rested than I had in days. I’m adjusting. After a lovely breakfast in the vineyard of freshly baked bread, local sliced meats, tomatoes, olives and strong black coffee I relaxed by the pool.

It’s difficult to put into words the landscape that captures my gaze from every angle. Large stone farm houses interrupt the rolling hills that create a patch work of olive groves and grape vines. I am captivated and at peace in a way I have never felt before. All the hustle and worry inherent in our modern world, clouded by this moment of bliss. So..I continue to follow my bliss.

I head back to Siena as there was so much I missed. Along the way I wander off track (I prefer the term wander vs lost;) and discover the tiny medieval village of Monterriggioni. 560 meters of large stone walls.

It’s here I stop for lunch at Il Piccolo Cistello. I order garganelli al ristello (short pasta with Tuscan pork). With every bite of these short little scrolls of goodness and rich pork I catch a bit of the subtle buttery oil that really gives life to all the other flavours.

I then make way through a terrible thundershower and reach Siena.

I spend more time meandering the allies that feed off the piazza. Every enclave, every crooked little sleeve of stone is entirely and completely unique. I imagine a story for ever ally I explore: lovers stealing kisses, merchants pulling their ware.

The Tuscan sun finally triumphs over the clouds so I lay my shawl on the slanted brick and allow it to spill over me. Bliss.

When I dust myself off I make my way to order a glass of rose in the square.It was then I realized my own stone walls were limiting me. So  this time I engaged with others around me and I accept an invitation to go for some beer and experience some local Tuscan pizza. As luck would have it one of these individuals was studying to be a simolia and apprenticing at a michelen star resteraunt. He was also well schooled in beer. You can imagine my delight as I sat listening (for once) to all there was to know about pizza..beer..and wine! One of the pizzas was a simple thin crust margarita pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil. He informed me that one can tell the quality of the mozzarella by the milk it secretes (vs water) when pushed gently.

I cannot begin to describe the explosion of these simple ingredients as it dripped with every bite over my chin.

He then began to teach me a little about beer..but sadly I just didn’t get it. “Can u smell it? It smells like burnt toast”, he says as he holds up the glass with a tilt and inhales. Where I come from the smell of burnt toast where there is no toast..can be a sign of a stroke. “Nope”,I say, “I just smell beer”. Ah well.

I finish the evening once again full and fulfilled. And with a growing awareness that as mighty and functional as they can be, walls are still meant to be climbed over.