I’m in love.
No, this is not another post about my return to tapestry knitting…
I’ve fallen in love with the country and people I’ve met through Knitting in Tuscany: workshops run by Trips for Knitters. We stay in a small village in the heart of Tuscany. And truly, I really do mean the “heart” of Tuscany. You hear this phrase all the time, but this time it couldn’t be more true.
In fact, one year while traveling with friends in Florence before the workshops (and spending all the money I was about to make and then some…), we were told by a prominent leather designer (where some of our money went) that Montisi was the “real Italy”. The real Tuscany. In it’s heart. This surprised us because normally on our travels even the drivers we hired had not heard of this magical little village. But this man knew Montisi. And he knew what he was talking about.
What makes it so magical? Of course, we all know how drop dead gorgeous the countryside is. I can’t imaging anyone reading this hasn’t seen a “postcard-esque” photo of the area or heard of “Under the Tuscan Sun”. But, what makes it truly magical for me are the people.
And that’s what makes Trips for Knitters “Knitting in Tuscany” so special. We actually get to meet the people. There’s a connection. And it’s just as real as the connection we feel to the soil we stand on, the air we breathe, and ok- their delicious food.
The workshop week starts on a Saturday with everyone arriving throughout the afternoon to the Villa Maddalena we will call home for the next week. If it’s a sunny fall day – as it has been every year I’ve been there – we all gravitate to the garden and settle in to enjoy the views, get to know each other, and, of course, knit! Later that evening, we have more formal introductions around the large dining room table where we’re served an unforgettable meal prepared for us by The Tuscan Chef – (check him out- the photo is of him in the kitchen of Villa Maddalena).
I remember my first year and the introductions around the table. They started with Susan, the woman behind Trips for Knitters, and the person who’d hired me. And they ended with me, the teacher for the workshop. In between, I was astonished to hear one after another say that it was not their first year coming to Knitting in Tuscany. Some had been coming for years. Returning year after year. If that wasn’t a testimonial, I don’t know what is. I was extremely touched and remember feeling a little emotional (and maybe speechless, too) by the time it was my turn to speak.
It just got better and better each day. Every meal was carefully planned and catered to us, whether at a local restaurant, a neighboring village, or in the villa. We would meet to knit each day, either morning or afternoon, depending on whether it was an outing day or a quiet day at the villa. I should add, too, the week was carefully planned out to balance the busy with the calm. That’s the beauty of it.
The knitters have the option of a single room or sharing rooms, and all 9 rooms are gorgeous. Aside from airfare to the closest airport (Florence or Rome), the charge is all-inclusive. That includes the yarn for the project, all meals, wine that flows like water, and memories that just might have you wanting to return the next year, too.
The dates for Trips for Knitters this year are October 6th – 13th and October 13th – 20th. I know the first week is sold out, but she does keep a waiting list. If the second week works for you, you’re in luck because I just heard there were several unexpected cancellations so why not join me for Knitting in Tuscany this fall?