Winetasting in Tuscany

Digital Nomad Life; How the Fudge to Get Friends?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Digital Nomad, Italy, Series: Liisa being adventurous, Travel

It’s simple, you just join a wine tasting and suddenly you’re 12 hours deep into a new friendship. That’s at least what happened to us. It could’ve been because we have just been lacking friends to talk to for 3 months, and anyone could’ve been a victim to our bla bla. But, I honestly can say that it was one of the greatest days I’ve had and it was because we just totally clicked with the people we met.

This wine tasting was a gift to my boyfriend, Lars the Winelover, for his birthday. Although, this wasn’t the usual kind of wine tasting. It was a wine tasting at a Medieval Castle in Chianti. Who doesn’t love a little castles and Medieval history to a bit of wine, right?

About the wine tasting tour

We met up in Florence and then we drove to a place called Trebbio. The place was just the most Tuscan place I’ve ever seen. A castle on top of one of the many Tuscan green hills as far as the eye can see, vineyards, olive trees and a red fiat casually placed next to a super Italian looking house.

Winetasting in Tuscany
Winetasting in Tuscany

Pazzi and wine tasting – what?

The whole experience started off with a tour around the castle, which by-the-way was owned by Medici’s enemies, The Pazzis, back in the days! We had no idea that our experience was going to involve us actually walking in one of the rooms where The Pazzis conspired against Medici’s power. Lars and I just looked at each other and had a moment of; holy scheisse, this gone be good. And it was amazing.

Though, the castle today is owned by some very “ordinary” people. It was bought by a duke as a gift for his wife back in the 60’s. Their grandchildren are now making this area into a Tuscan cradle. For me it was mind-blowing. Imagine growing up in a castle. A CASTLE. Their living-room was the Pazzi conspiracy room, like I can’t even.

Then the wine tasting journey took us below ground level and into the pits of wine.

Winetasting in Tuscany
Winetasting in Tuscany
Winetasting in Tuscany

The power of Chianti

We got an amazing introduction to the Chianti wine and how important it is to pronounce Chianti as Ki-anti and not Shi-anti. Otherwise you’ll be banned from Tuscany. And the Chianti God gives you alcohol poisoning even before you drink the wine. We also learnt about how important it is with extra virgin olive oil and got other tricks in the sleeve.

We also got a sneak peek of some wine from the early days, that no one is allowed to drink. I think Lars cried a bit inside, but we had to just give a teary glimpse on the wine and just keep walking.

 

Winetasting in Tuscany
Winetasting in Tuscany
Winetasting in Tuscany

An intimate wine tasting

Then our group was split up, where some people left on Vespa road-trip, and Lars and I, along with our two new best friends, went on a very intimate wine tasting. So yeah, it was four of us and we got super lucky to meet a couple from Down Under.

We got an amazing wine tasting, with different type of wine and some complimentary snacks from the area. Below you can see a very happy guide showing us some secret information about wine.

Winetasting in Tuscany

 

After the wine tasting we had some free time. Below you can see one picture of Lars, Mark and Tate, two of our new mateys. Or how they say it in Australia. Tipsy and merry, we just talked about everything between how huge corporations suck and the freedom of travels. We also met another couple from Murica.

Winetasting in Tuscany
Winetasting in Tuscany
Winetasting in Tuscany

Wine tasting in Tuscany

After this amazing wine tasting in Tuscany, we drove back to Florence. Guess who was in the car together? Us, the Down Under couple and Murica couple. It hit me in the car that we are from three different continents and how amazing it is that we can just hang.

We also talked about the fact that Australia and North-America have only existed for a couple of hundred years. Sometimes I forget that it’s actually us Europeans back in the days. Tate also had some Swedish heritage in her DNA.

When we arrived back in Florence ready for more, we decided to go to a place where Lars and I once had a beer-date. On a bench.

 

Beer tasting in Florence

We found some chairs this time and three beers later, the Muricans left. Yet, the four of us still weren’t done talking. So we ended up talking until 00, Lars and I missed the last train home and had to spend a spontaneous night in Florence. It was a good day.

Digital nomad and motorcycling

Digital nomad life + a motorcycle lifestyle = what?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Digital Nomad, Italy

The digital nomad lifestyle is not only about creating digital epicness to an awesome view over a Tuscan beach, it’s also about doing batshit crazy things. Like hanging on to your bare life, whilst you’re riding on the back of a former motorcycle World Champion – Troy Corser. See video below.

I’m not lying when I say his top speed must’ve been 250 km/t when we did the long wheelie that for me lasted 10 lifetimes. He also did some cute little tricks in the swings, like drifting with the motorbike. Yes, with me still on the back. I didn’t even know that motorcycles could drift. Like, don’t they just flip over and turn into a billion pieces?

Anyway, we survived. Proof on the picture below.

Troy Corser at Mugello
I even got to lend his suit – Thanks again, Troy! #LikeAGlove

That day was me embracing my boyfriend’s digital nomad journey. How he combines his passion for motorcycling and living abroad. It is universal knowledge that Italy is blessed with some good motorcycle tracks and is also one of the reasons why we came here.

So yeah, I crashed the testosterone-party at Mugello Circuit, where he attended Race Academy. He learnt shitloads about motorcycling and I learnt shitloads about his world. Especially after I got the chance to try a pillon-ride with Troy Corser, “The Teacher” at Race Academy.

Blom Racing
Lars being batshit crazy too – and super cool doing it

I’m truly grateful. I’ve always seen race motorcycling as men doing the “huga-buga” Silverback gestures, you know, thomping on their chest to show off their manhood. But, now I saw a different side to it. I saw a community with so much support and brotherhood. There is no: “Oh my God, look at him guys. Such a noobz.”. It’s people working for the same passion and having a mutual respect.

I also saw my man’s bravery, his drive and how he really is passionate about this. I have to say I got some extra butterflies in my stomach after this experience. So proud of you.

Troy Corser at Mugello

This experience has also learnt me another important lesson. It’s not always about me, me, me in relationships. Yes, I’m super spiritual and I have always had the belief that this motorcycle world is all about ego. So I have been fighting it. Fighting Lars. But, I see more love in this community. Even met a guy who is more empathic towards other human beings than vegans. Super blessed.

Florence

Things to do in Florence, Italy & some travel hacks

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Italy, Travel

We stayed in Florence from Tuesday and until Thursday, hoping to avoid the crowd. What we found out was that early weekdays don’t apply on high-season to avoid the masses. The crowd is the same-same and the tourists are scattered everywhere.

Florence
When the masses are closing in – hide.

You can either find your partner-in-crime and hide in a huge “I’m invisible and safe and all is well”-embrace or you can find cute little streets away from the crowd. It can be a detour if you’re on an A to B mission, but it’ll be the greatest detour of your life. Narrow streets, cute shops and yeah, less people. What’s not to like. See survival examples in the pictures below. Or you can choose the third option; be a vampire and move in the night.

In addition, we had to survive 34 degrees in full blown sun. There were points where we just “NOPE” and just had sacrifice some places and retreat to more silent places. We also have some more Florence travel hacks, just click on the “Florence travel hacks” field below!

Florence travel hacks

Google Map pins: Before you enter the cradle of Renaissance, then find your Google Map and pin all the places you want to see, the places you want to eat and so forth. With the crowd and some waiting in queues, it’ll make your life so much easier.

Firenze Card:  If you’re going to spend more than 2-3 days in Florence, then this is your ace in the sleeve. It costs €89 for the Firenze Card, but it is valid for 72 hours, you can enter the majority of the museums for free, you get a priority access once in each museum (aka skip queues) and it has a lot of discounts to different shops and restaurants. I’d seriously pay the amount of money for the Firenze Card, just so I can skip the queueing! We walked almost straight in to the Galleria dell’Accademia, when people were queuing forever in 34 degrees and sun. Suckers.

AirBNB: If hotels are sold out or are too expensive, then we’d recommend staying at an AirBNB. If you’re also staying longer, you can find an apartment with your own kitchen, so you spare some dollars on not eating out.

Trenitalia: Can’t even find a decent and cheap place to stay in the middle of Florence? Find a place outside the city, for example Pistoia or Prato. From there you can take a train directly to Firenze Santa Maria Novella next to the old town. The train tickets are super cheap and you can find them  here – Trenitalia.

Duomo: Ok, what we didn’t know was that one has to book a slot to come up to the infamous creation of Brunelleschi – The Dome. We had bought the ticket and then saw it was fully booked. So, buy the ticket and book it early here.


4 things to do in Florence Italy


Galleria degli Uffizi

If you don’t have time to go strolling and visiting all them endless gems in Florence, then Uffizi Gallery is the one museum you need to visit! It’s worth the queuing (although, if you have the Firenze Card you get priority access) as you can spend hours in there. It’s FYI considered to be one of the largest museums in the world. How about that.

Your eyes get the pleasure of seeing original creations from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio and many more. Totally a starstruck hive if you have a passion for art, history and culture.

Another tip; keep an eye on the opening hours, as the museum sometimes has opened during the evening and you get the place pretty much to yourself!


Cappelle Medicee

The Medici Chapel was an interesting and fascinating place. You could sense it was a space where death is welcomed with open arms. You enter the Chapel below, in the crypt, where the Medici’s remains are kept alongside sacred ornaments containing relics. Reliques in form of bones, pieces from human skulls and all that jazz.

When we went up the staircase, we were met by I sight that seriously took my breath away. Usually you see chapels and churches in bright white, illuminating the whole room. Although, the Cappella dei Principi (“Chapel of the Princes”) was dark and almost gothic in a sense. The stones used to decorate the chapel were dark green, brown, grey, with small golden and red details. All of it illuminated by the dome above.

Last, but not least, we visited The Sagrestia Nuova, designed by the great Michelangelo. We watched a documentary in beforehand and we already knew what was coming – Michelangelo’s subliminal mockery of the Medici family. Once a student, then a silent opponent towards the greedy Medici. As it was for the majority of Florentines back in those days. The statues of the Giuliano and Lorenzo weren’t as grand as they should’ve been by the book. Also, the statues representing Dusk & Dawn and Night & Day, were a symbolic meaning of the passing of time. As with the Medici family.


Museo Galileo

If you love astronomy, technology, science, compasses, time measuring devices, telescopes, globes, maps and all them kinds of goodies, like moi, then this is your heaven. It’s amazing to see how mathematics and logic could create so complex things, before our modern technology. Well, this was birth of the technology era, but it’s just mind-boggling to see how far they were already back then. All thanks to the father of modern science – Galileo Galilei. I can’t even figure out my phone.


Galleria dell’Accademia

David statue, Academy in Florence

I’d say that Galleria dell’Accademia is not worth the queue if you don’t have secret crush on Michelangelo’s David and if you’re not super interested in sculptures as an artform. I personally felt the grand David was the reason for entering this museum (yup, totally starstruck), as I’m too ignorant about sculptures. Mesmerized, but ignorant.

Although, I later learned that sculptures were one of the most expensive artforms back in the days and were often used to show an economic strength. In addition, in the New Testament, believers were called “living stones”, which gave the sculptures an additional – and symbolic – meaning. My point; don’t be ignorant and life will be more exciting.

Ok, let’s get back on track. The museum also had its own floor where you could admire old frescoes in gothic style. Again, not my cuppa, but maybe yours?


3 things to do in Florence Italy – when things get too crowded

Alright, back to avoiding the scary masses, which is basically an artform in itself. We found some more quiet places to visit in Florence, on the Firenze Card. Here are some of them below. You are welcome.

Museo Casa di Dante

The House of Dante

 

Dante’s crib! We found his old house hidden somewhere in Florence. A bit lost at that time, but you’ll find it easily on Google Maps. I have to say I was expecting a bit more, being Dante’s house and all. But, just knowing it was there where he slept and pondered about the world – and Beatrice – made my whole experience.

Otherwise, it was more of a collection of information elaborated from Dante’s scriptures. Aka, it wasn’t always directly about him, but what happened during the time he walked the streets of Florence.

Museo dell’Opfificio delle Pietre Dure

No pictures taken from this little spontaneous trip!

This museum was a collection of different… stones and rocks. Being a rock collector myself back in my days when I was 5 years old, this was definitely was an extension to my rock knowledge. I also have a love for crystals as being spiritual AF, so it was a bonus applied to this experience.

All in all, an interesting little detour, which sparked a further understanding about how rocks and stones were used to decorate differents aspects of the grand life in Florence – and for the Medici family.

Bibiloteca Medicea Laurenziana

Barely any people, probably the smallest museum in town – but, damn it is beautiful. This was Medici’s personal library (like holy cow). What I’m about to say now goes against every fiber of my being, but I’d seriously consider becoming as greedy as a Medici just to get a library like that. The vestibule already had me on “I wanna become a Medici.”


 

Food wise, check these 6 vegan restaurants out in Florence! If you’re not vegan, doesn’t matter – you’ll convert to veganism the moment you take bite.

Digital Nomad

The digital nomad life // Our first experiences

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Italy, Travel

I still remember the day when we had just left Denmark. We drove on the autobahn in Germany, embracing the fact that this highway was the start on our digital nomad life in Europe. I remember feeling true, genuine happiness knowing that we didn’t have a registered address anymore. From there on, we were heading towards an unknown era of freedom. Dreams manifesting and the whole shebang, you know.

First stop: Volta Mantovana

Our first AirBNB base was in Volta Mantovana, a place no one would randomly live in, where rumours abound and where a piece of renaissance still remains. The first thing we did was to pop a local white wine with our lovely host, Margaret. Fluffy kitties welcomed us, we had the sound of grasshoppers in the background and late talks about being globalists.

Sitting there sipping my wine, I was thinking; I can’t believe how blessed I am.

Digital Nomad

Second stop: Monsummano Terme

Well, around 10.000 km later, some dollars poorer and plenty of experiences richer – we are hereby announcing that we are super tired and somewhat broke. Therefore we have decided to be kind to ourselves and stay at a lovely little apartment in Monsummano Terme until mid-August! You really need to zoom in on Google Maps to even find the place, but the beauty of its location is that it’s actually right between Pisa and Florence. Aka, we can spare ourselves some kilometres and money, yet still see the best Italy has to offer.

Lars has his precious motorcycle track, Mugello, right next door and can embrace his inner world champion. I get to be an hour from the sea where I hopefully can start my underwater photography. Blub blub. We can explore the Tuscany area even more, drink some local Chianti wine and actually live a little. We also have pizza restaurant next door and the local “social-hangout-place” Tiffany’s. Ah, and the apartment has balcony, so that kind of won me over.

Monsummano Terme

Monsummano Terme
More posts will come about how we even managed to reach 10.000 km, how our mini-minivan Opie experiences his travels, some tips regarding a digital nomad life and all that. Stay tuned!