These are my very last hours here at Spannocchia, which, for the past week, has served as writing workshop, retreat, bed and board. From my top floor perch, each day I’ve taken in the expanse of the tenuta—the vast fields and forest of this amazing Tuscan farm—before trotting down to the common room for fresh vegetables, pasta, pork from heirloom pigs, wine and, um, more wine.
I brought one of my completed novels as well as something new to be workshopped, and got to weigh in on some pretty amazing writing. I did some writing. I also learned how to make pasta from scratch. I took side trips to Siena and San Gimignano, and met some terrific fun-loving people.
This place is 700 years old! How can you summarize a week in a 14th-century Italian villa in the heart of the one of the most romantic countries on the planet and even come close to doing it justice?