A Theatrical Tuscan Food Adventure

A Theatrical Tuscan Food AdventureLike anyone, I have a mental list of my favourite things. These include film and theatre as well as good food and adventure holidays. Put them all together and it is a massive win for me.

When I saw that Foodies100 were running a competition over on their site with GLORIOUS! soups to win a trip to Mumbai – which includes a food tour – I had to take a look. Not only because I would love a foodie trip but because I have eaten GLORIOUS soups in the past and I am a big fan.

The competition asks you to choose a soup recipe that inspires a travel memory and as soon as I saw the Tuscan Chicken and Orzo I knew exactly what I wanted to write about.

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Back in 1994, I found myself alone after the break-up of my marriage. I moved into a small flat and, for the first time in my life, I was able to just be me. I didn’t have to answer to anyone and I could watch anything I liked on the TV. I had also joined a drama society called The Quince Players and my first main role was as Olivia in the Shakespeare play ‘Twelfth Night’.

This ignited my love of Shakespeare. Having never studied it, I didn’t have the tainted view of a boring classroom reading. Instead I found the words beautifully poetic and was surprised to find that I understood his language. Knowing that I could watch whatever I liked, I went out and bought the Kenneth Brannagh version of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. The film has remained one of my favourites ever since, not only for the superb performances from so many memorable actors – Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Richard Briers and Emma Thompson to name but a few – but also because of it’s absolutely breathtaking scenery in the form of Tuscany.

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The opening scenes are full of care-free joy as the picnic that Beatrice and her friends are enjoying on Lenato’s land is interrupted by the arrival of Don Pedro. The camera’s pan across the landscape, and the setting of the Villa Vignamaggio in Tuscany, as the strains of the music which the poem is set to play dramatically and it immediately draws you in. For these reasons and many others, the area of Tuscany contributes greatly to the film. Not only does it help with it’s timelessness but it also seems like it is in it’s own little world. The visual impact it creates is stunning and I was hooked.

From then on Tuscany became a symbol of freedom and happiness for me. Having just left the confines of a marriage and enjoying my independence, I could really relate to the film. It is beautifully shot and is one of the most romantic stories I have ever seen portrayed on the screen. Kenneth Brannagh and Emma Thompson do an amazing job and have such chemistry. I remember being so disappointed when their real-life relationship broke down.

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I have only ever had the pleasure of passing through the rolling hills of Tuscany and not really had any chance to spend much time there. It was back in the mid-90s, when my freedom also meant that I could have a holiday to wherever I chose and for me it had to be Italy. I travelled there with one of my girlfriends. We stayed in Rimini as I couldn’t afford much but it meant that we were able to take day trips to Venice, Rome and Florence. The coach trip to and from Rome took us through Tuscany. I can remember voicing my complete excitement to my friend Lindsey, comparing everything to the images from Much Ado About Nothing. On the journey back through the Tuscan hillsides, we stopped for an evening meal at a traditional Tuscan Trattoria. It actually felt like we were sitting in someone’s house and the staff were so welcoming. I can still remember the taste of the red wine and wonderfully fresh, rich tomato sauce of the lasagne we ate.

One day I would love to take a family holiday to experience a full on Tuscan Villa for myself. Even reading the description of my chosen soup on the GLORIOUS soup site talks of wandering among Cypress trees and watching the sun setting behind the rolling Tuscan hills. It sounds perfect to me. Until that day, I will continue to get lost in the film that takes me there – and may be next time I will have to watch it with a bowl of Tuscan Chicken and Orzo just to add to the ambience.

This blog post is an entry into the Foodies100/GLORIOUS! soup #GloriousAdventures blogger challenge.

 

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14 Comments

  1. 14/11/2015 / 7:52 am

    Hi Victoria, I think Much Ado About Nothing would be a film I could enjoy with my daughter, who enjoys reading classics or anything else with words! Food, and especially the aroma of cooking food can conjure up so many memories. Certain smells wafting around will take me back to sitting in my Grannies flat in Athens as a child and feasting on good Greek food cooked in the local bakers (it was how many people cooked their ‘big meals’ back then as they often didn’t have ovens in the flats).

    Love soup too.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…The Waiting Is Over…My Profile

  2. 13/11/2015 / 10:33 am

    The photos in your post say it all – what an amazing landscape, add in the food, wine and a couple of gorgeous Italian men and you have found my heaven too! Lots of luck with the competition 🙂
    Sarah – Craft Invaders recently posted…Christmas LiqueurMy Profile

  3. 13/11/2015 / 9:50 am

    Italy was our second choice of country to move to when we decided to head off to somewhere new and Tuscany would have been high on our list. I was there many years ago and adored it: The countryside, the food, the people, the wine and the history. I even started to lean Italian. I need to get back there for another holiday 🙂
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  4. Izzie Anderton
    13/11/2015 / 8:02 am

    Here’s hoping that you get to go on holiday to Tuscany very soon – it sounds idyllic! Good luck with the competition x
    Izzie Anderton recently posted…Musings on the John Lewis Christmas AdMy Profile

  5. Tracey Abrahams
    13/11/2015 / 7:58 am

    I have never been to Tuscany, but it always looks beautiful on telly and films and is somewhere I would like to visit. The soup also sounds lush, so I am going to be hunting that down too xx #pocolo
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  6. 11/11/2015 / 8:00 pm

    I love watching under the Tuscan sun for that reason. It looks just so beautiful!! Good luck in the comp 🙂
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Planning a new adventureMy Profile

  7. 11/11/2015 / 9:49 am

    That’s so evocative! I have a love/hate relationship with Tuscany but I miss the landscape. I will definitely watch the film now 🙂

    • Victoria
      11/11/2015 / 10:22 am

      Oh you so should – I reckon you will love it 🙂

    • Victoria
      11/11/2015 / 10:21 am

      Thank you 🙂 Me too!

  8. 10/11/2015 / 8:42 pm

    I hope you get there one day lovely lady! There would be far worse ways to spend a holiday than in a Tuscan Villa 🙂 xx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…My Love Affair with ThailandMy Profile

    • Victoria
      10/11/2015 / 11:01 pm

      Thank you 🙂 Absolutely right there! x

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