|The flowers of Tuscany never cease to amaze us. The colors, the smells, the varied designs make them appear more artist rendered than real life itself.|
|Old fashioned community washing pool, where locals gathered to do their laundry. The larger is for washing. The smaller sink is for rinsing. Of course, they’d bring their laundry home to dry outside their windows.|
|Me, in the old apron, hanging on a hook in the above photo and Michela, ready to rinse the clothes. Talk about authentic! I like doing laundry but I don’t know if this would be as convenient.|
As mentioned many times in our posts, nothing in our travels pleases us more than the opportunity to meet and interact with the locals. It is from these experiences that our travels become more meaningful and enriching.
Unfortunately, in the small community of Boveglio with a population of only 150, meeting local residents has not been easy. Add the language barrier and we’re left with little opportunity to mingle. That may change after a special day today.
With non-existent Italian language skills, we’ve found ourselves making feeble attempts to communicate in the hope of acquiring a sense of the village and its culture.
Santina, our delightful cleaning person was here today. We’re stay on the veranda as she busily performs her tasks for two hours at a total cost of US $20.85. Close to my own age, she’s a whirling dervish, full of energy, enthusiasm and brute strength. I see this as she works wishing I had her stamina.
She wears a dress, a flowered print with a waistline, as most of the adult women wear in Italy, with a full apron when cooking or cleaning. Her attire easily reminds me of the 1950’s with my mother wearing a “shirtwaist” flowered print dress while standing in the kitchen also wearing an apron. Oh, how times have changed!
Today, when she arrived, I had typed a message to her in Google Translate which she fully understood requesting that she not open the windows in the master bedroom. These past few weeks that we’ve been fortunate to have her fine services she’s opened all of the windows to aid in the drying of the stone floors. Of course, a zillion flying things came inside. If we can protect the bedroom for bug-free sleeping, we’re content.
|The entrance to Not Only Pinocchio along the narrow road.|
She chuckled after reading the translation which apparently was clear and concise. I suppose she giggled at the availability and subsequent use of such a translation device for us to communicate. But, for all we know, she has a computer at home playing games on Facebook at night. I won’t ask.
To expand our horizons, I contacted the owner of the local B & B, Not Only Pinocchio, that we’ve noticed while making our way on foot to Bar Ferrari, the local pub. This particular long steep walk was depicted in a video we borrowed from a kindly gentleman we met online, which was taken while he was riding his motorcycle. Please see the archives on the right side of our home page for 7/17/2013 for the video.
Finding the email link for Not Only Pinocchio in the contact section on their site, I wrote asking for a tour of the property. Within hours we received a response from Michela, a delightful woman who much to our surprise, spoke some English.
We’d hoped to visit and photograph the quaint B & B and share it on our site for our readers all over the world to see. As free advertising for them and for an opportunity for us to explore, it was a win-win. Today, at 2:00 pm as planned, Michela was waiting for us outside the B & B when we arrived early (as us older folks tend to do).
|The convenient kitchen with everything a cook could need at the B & B.
|This table in the kitchen, most likely covered in Formica in the 1950’s is well-preserved and ideal for this location.|
Our perception is that their B & B is aptly named, “Not Only Pinocchio” to illustrate that one need not stay close to the town of Collodi which is only 20 minutes down the mountain and the birthplace of the story of Pinocchio.
Tuscany, a much desired popular tourist destination, offers an endless array of rich historical significance attracting millions of tourists each year.
|Too cute..the owners of Not Only Pinocchio, Michela and Luca Panigada! (Luca is a common male name in Italy).|
Although there are numerous hotels within 30 minutes of Collodi, Michela and Luca chose to offer this unique B & B, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowd in the village of Collodi and its surrounding communities. As one of a few small businesses located in the village of Boveglio, it never fails to honor the truest form of the Tuscan life.
|The living room, well equipped with books, flat screen TV, WiFi and a variety of artworks Michela and Luca have accumulated over the years.|
Michela, born in the region of Lucca, lived in Milan for many years. The draw of her father’s roots in Boveglio created a passion which she shared with us today, for the changing tourism business that continues to offer more and more opportunities for the smaller villages, such as Boveglio that provide unique facilities for tourists.
|One of the two guest rooms with stone floors, artwork and antique furniture.|
|Michela was excited to show us the “mirror image” of duplicate artwork on the bedroom walls, repeated in the hallway.|
Many tourists worldwide, such as ourselves, are pulling away from the traditional hotels in order to grasp the genuine flavor of a region such as Italy; the culture, the ambiance, living amongst “the people,” eating their authentic foods, basking in the simplicity of their centuries old lifestyles, often with less modern conveniences.
|The second bedroom with a king sized bed.|
|The “included in the price” kid’s cubby.|
Not Only Pinocchio enmeshes travelers in a welcome respite from the traditional busy, noisy hotel rooms and lobbies, reducing stress, add-on charges, and more often than not, a small, often uninvited single room with made-to-look-old accoutrements and furnishings.
|Favorite artwork by local artist, a good friend.|
If authenticity is a tourist’s objective, Not Only Pinocchio, has it all. With two well-appointed guest bedrooms, either or both of which can be arranged at reasonable pricing, guests have access to an over-sized Tuscan kitchen, living room, cute cubby sleeping area for kids at no additional cost, all of which is appointed with all of the “must-haves” and so much more, including antique treasures each with their own special story.
Playing a role in promoting local businesses, however small, adds yet another layer of enjoyment in our worldwide travels. This B & B, quaint in its décor, encompasses the full flavor of the Tuscan life which may be the ideal for travelers seeking more than a number of nights in an traditional hotel.
Living in an authentic property whether for a night or months, such as we chosen to do, is the essence of memories that one will cherish forever.
|Tom getting ready for the walk home. See, his haircut is shaping up after all!|
As is the case in our home for the summer, Casasottolatorre Villa Basilica, we are drenched in the semblance of life from another time in a manner one would also experience at a stay at Not Only Pinocchio.
|Michela walked partway back with us introducing us to her neighbors, who’s garden we’ve admired when walking on other occasions.|
Thank you Michela! We hope to see you again soon!
|The tiny chapel where the local women pray in the evenings. We’d noticed this structure when walking a few weeks ago but had assumed it was on private property.As Michela walked partway back with us, she showed us this little treasure which actually is on communal property.|