Welcome to Rome Fiumicino where the local time is 11am. Through passport control, on to the Leonardo express train and I’m in Rome Termini. From there, I take the Treno regionale veloce to Chiusi Chianciano Terme for only 10 euros one way. After less than 20 minutes, I’m already in the beautiful Italian countryside.
I don’t regret for one moment my decision to reach Montepulciano by train – the view is beyond words.The train is passing through wheat fields. The slow, sunny train journey to Tuscany is the perfect opportunity to read a newspaper and catch up on Italian news after a few months away from the country. I discovered with pleasure that Rome has just appointed Italy’s first female mayor. Well done Italians!
We are already in the Tuscan countryside and the scenery has become more lush and green. Less than two hours after leaving Rome, we stop in Chiusi- Chianciano Terme. The strong afternoon sun is baking the tiny station and the bus station is virtually deserted. The Italians are probably enjoying an after lunch pennichella (nap)!
A pleasant, smiling bus driver welcomes me and a sweet Italian grandmother on to the bus. The Italian grandma is going to terme (thermal baths) and, in a strong Roman accent, proceeds to tell me and the driver her entire life story, making sure we know everything about her husband, sons and grandchildren……;)
After leaving this chatty elderly lady at Chianciano Terme, within 10 minutes we are at the first stop in town where Il Sasso Italian school dominates the valley below. As I enjoy the panorama from the school’s balcony, I’m joined by my colleague, Silvia, the director of the school, and Heike, the school’s receptionist. Silvia and Heike then take me for a tour of the school.
The excitable Silvia deluges me with new ideas, projects, courses and stories about our students. Happily, we decide to finish our discussion at the terrazzo bar, a few minutes away from the school. Over an aperitif spritz, we admire the sunset over the Tuscan countryside.
And now at 7pm, after just a few hours, the traffic, the smog, and the overcrowded city life seems far away….
by Antonio & Silvia, director @ il sasso.com