So we’re heading on a road trip in our car towards Sicily.

The hard truth is this: we have way too much stuff to fit in one tiny Fiat Panda. Where the heck did all our luggage come from? And, damn, those car rental websites make Italian tea-cup size cars appear larger than in real life.

After we crammed The Panda to the titties we drove from Alessandro’s (my hubby) family home in La Spezia to his cousin’s villa in Tuscany (photos above).

Our home in La Spezia was built in 1935 by Alessandro’s grandfather. He had three children so he built a three level house and each child was given a piece of land, a cantina, and one level of the house. Crazy, right? Alessandro’s family have lived there for generations and he grew up with his cousins, aunts and uncles within shouting distance of each other. It’s a pretty special place and it feel like “home” when I go back there too. When I’m in Italy I also bounce about in hotels with my (awesome) clients for my tours, but I’m always happy to “come home” as it just feels cozy.

It took about 2.5 hours to drive from La Spezia to Massa Marittima. Time flew as we chatted and window gazing. No, our daughter does not have an Ipad. I’ll report if this was a bad or good idea after our trip.

Alessandro’s cousin, Luca, with his wife Elisabetta own this amazing property, Il Convento di Monte Pozzali which they have restored for the last decade they’ve owned it into an incredible spot.

It’s been eight years since we were last there and all the love that they have poured into the place really shows.

#BiancaTravelTip: This area of Tuscany (called Maremma) is more under the radar than the Florence/Sienna/Chianti zone. But it’s really incredible and I encourage you to explore — if you have a car. A car is a must here.

When we arrived we headed straight for the pool. Flora’s cousin is four years old but they’ve never met. Luckily they got along like a house on fire within the first five minutes. They spent the evening going bonkers in the pool.

We all sat down to a pleasant meal that Elisabetta made and caught up on the last few years. I loved seeing Ale and his cousin connect after all this time. Family is troppo importante! 

I went to bed feeling really lucky to have a loving family on two continents.

A presto,


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