My heart is breaking as I seem to be missing a very special portrait. The couple that own this beautiful B&B just outside of Florence are some of the kindest people I've ever met. They touched my heart in such a way that I will remember forever. They provided the kind of genuine hospitality that you dream about and see in American movies showcasing Italy. I was recommended to Valdirose by Giulia Scarpaleggia a prolific food blogger based in Tuscany. I was looking for a lovely place to put my feet up for a couple days before heading back to Rome.
Valdirose is located just a short train ride from the center of Florence in Lastra a Signa. I took a train from Livorno to Florence after wrapping up our olive harvest shoot. I managed to miss my stop, in addition to having the train conductor ask me questioningly why I was in this section of the train. Annoyed with my lack of Italian and means to communicate I huffed and lugged my suitcase off at the next stop. I took a cab up the winding hills towards Valdirose where I was greeted by the most kind woman. She knew who I was and greeted me with welcoming arms. I honestly didn't know how to react, she treated me like I was a queen in her home. I was a tired traveler who needed a good meal, a hot shower and a warm bed. She poured me a glass of red wine, made me a delicious meal of vegetables (a much needed break from my carb overload) and we chatted into the evening. We instantly had a deep connection, as if we knew each other for years, an old friend.
Irene has the most amazing eye, and attention to detail. She has made her childhood home into the most welcoming space for travelers. She left me peonies by my bed and every morning her and her sweet husband Paolo prepare breakfast for their guests. A delicious spread of baked goods, jams, coffee and juice. If you're lucky you will get to meet their beautiful daughter, who's smile lights up a room. Irene's father Giovanni who lives next door made me feel so welcomed with his big heart and genuine kindness. I loved speaking to him every chance I got. I had the best time with them. I feel so fortunate to of met them, its not everyday you have that kind of connection with people.
It was raining as I packed my bags to go back to Rome. I didn't want to leave this house, I didn't want to say goodbye to Irene. We both teared up as I said farewell. I will never forget my time spent there.
You can visit Irene's beautiful blog and her instagram here.
Via val di rose,35
50055 Lastra a Signa