Travel Diary: Lornano, Tuscany

by Tamu McPherson
A few weeks ago we visited my mother-in-law’s country home and vineyard in Lornano, a tiny village near Siena, Tuscany. I am absolutely in paradise when ever we visit. Here are some reasons why:
Tuscany is breathtakingly beautiful. When you open your window in the morning you are immediately welcomed by gorgeous wheat colored fields, hunter green cypress and brilliant olive trees. The landscape is marvelous!
Lornano is located among the rolling hills of Chianti. I adore the homes in the region. Our home is ancient, the oldest part was built in the twelfth century. You get an idea of just how old it is in the image below where the wall is cracked behind the lemon plants. You feel the house’s history all throughout its walls. It’s been in my husband’s family for over three generations. Although we don’t go often enough, It always feels like home when we arrive. My husband’s grandmother told me fantastic stories about the house while she was alive. She spent her summers there and even hosted American soldiers during WWII. She was very proud of this fact. One of my favorite stories that she shared is about the family’s dog Whiskey, who fell into a depression one summer after the arrival of my husband who at the time was a super chubby baby. He apparently went on a hunger strike when he realized that he had to share the family’s attention with my husband, a cheerful squeezable dumpling of an infant. The hunger strike ended one day when Whiskey walked by the legs of my husband’s high chair at the moment that a soggy biscuit fell to the ground. Whiskey who interpreted this coincidence as a peace offering was inseparable from my husband for the rest of the summer. I wish I could say that they remained best friends, but my husband actually doesn’t like animals, and I am pretty sure that he is afraid of dogs. There are countless other similar stories that make me smile and know we have some of our own. I remember when we brought my son there when he was five-weeks- old. He immediately seemed like a part of the place.
My son and his cousins love picking lemons from these plants.
An old door in the garden now sealed by stones and hidden behind a terracotta jug.
 The dining room is decorated in traditional country style. I love this room. So many delicious meals, so many memorable conversations.
Field flowers adorn the dining room table. Everyone loves going on walks to collect them.
And flowers are not the only thing we collect. We are obsessed with our small vegetable garden where we grow tomatoes, eggplants, lettuce, basil and figs.
And how gorgeous are these lavender bushes on the border of the pool? In fact, lavender was the first fragrance that my son recognized. He would walk up to the bushes, point and say lavender.  So cute. There’s also rosemary, mint and oregano nearby. I have to say that these fragrances are such a nice contrast to the chlorine in the pool. Do you see why I think that this place is paradise?

Here are some of our favorite foods. From the top: tomatoes dressed in oil and basil; cantaloupe and prosciutto, pasta alla norma and peaches sprinkled with mint.

And no trip to Lornano would be complete without a jaunt to Siena. Before my son was born, we’d go for breakfast and long walks, now we go to chase the pigeons in Piazza del Campo. I know, gross, but children love pigeons and can run after them for hours. And a happy child is worth an hour or two near the winged rats. Trust me. Although I have to say that there weren’t as many pigeons as expected this time around and we left pretty soon after arriving. Pfff.
On this trip we entered through the Onda (wave) contrada (district) because we wanted to park as close as possible to the piazza. Lornano actually falls into the Bruco (caterpillar) district. My husband is not pleased that I am posting these images of the Onda district, but he should have worked out the parking situation before we got there. Lol, just kidding.

And, finally a really fantastic bottle from the family vineyard. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop by for a tasting. It’s a really lovely place and a lovely vineyard. Cheers to a happy weekend. xo, Tamu

Outfit details: Prada dress and shoes, vintage hand bag.

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