One of the many beauties of living high up in the Tuscan hills is that its quite handy for jumping into the car on a whim and drive aimlessly through breath taking scenery until settling upon one of plentiful picturesque spots in which to relax and become lost in the wilderness of one’s thoughts.

On one of those scenic drives with my family we drove through the Pistoia Mountains (Montagna Pistoiese), past valleys, meadows & glades before breaking at La Macchia Antonini for refreshments.  Its a beautiful picnic spot, 962 meters above sea level, surrounded by a deep forest of century old oak trees, beeches, pines & maples; the smell of the fresh clean mountain air combined with the fragrance of an assortment of trees soon sent me floating above my troubles.

During our rest at the cafe,  I couldn’t help myself but to sneak off  in which to check out the area further.  Here I stumbled across an old derelict building and barn. It was quite saddening to see a beautiful building in a terrific spot slowly decaying and lacking the warmth of a loving family.

Passing the building, I stumbled across a farmhouse and what struck me was  the design of the door knockers, they were Egyptian heads.  Upon further investigation (and thanks to Mary Jane Cryan, historian and journalist), I found that during ‘Napoleon’s Tour d’Egypt‘  French (and later Italian) fashion and architecture were affected between 1798-1801 (thus a great way to date buildings).


That’s me resembling a hobbit beside this humongous tree stump. The tree was probably a few centuries old before doing battle with the chainsaw.


Cafe at La Macchia Antonini


An array of empty Chianti bottles decorate the cafe wall….. I’m thinking somebody had a grrrrreat night;-)


I know it looks like ive killed that monkey…… but I didnt do it.


Mini-me joins me in my adventure…


Old Tuscan door, dating back to the 1800’s


Monte Antonini – Gli 20 Agosto 1810 (20th August 1810)


Old Tuscan house and barn


Old Tuscan barn and house


This house was attached to the barn


I love how these bars decorate the window. The shutters are slid across either side thus to open.


Tuscan House & Barn





Old italian door and knockers with Egyptian influence.


Italian door knocker with Egyptian influence. This is a great way to date buildings, during Napoleon’s Tour d’Egypt.


This padlocked doorway shows the very fabric of the building.


An old derelict building. Its a great shame its met with such fate as it rests in a beautiful spot.

Wandering around this Tuscan mountain spot, I found myself deep in my thoughts as to what life may have been like in this very spot 2 centuries ago…


If you wish to be kept posted on my adventures ‘off the beaten path Tuscany’, then you can do so by  subscribing to the  tuscanyvillages newsletter.



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