Instead of arriving at Pisa airport and following the popular route south to Siena and into Chiantishire
, my wife and I like to head north into the towns and glorious countryside that so inspired Italy's best-loved composer.
MUST be nice, sitting on one's trim little bottom sipping fine Chiantishire
wine, without a care in the world.
It's all that stress, you see, coping with the misery of paltry pounds 100,000-a-year salaries, scrimping and saving for that autumn break in Chiantishire
and meeting the bill for Camilla's private school fees.
And many Brits have bought property there - earning it the nickname Chiantishire
There are several visual echoes in setting, beyond the Chiantishire
of Branagh's Much Ado: the vision of the Changeling Boy on horseback derives from the Warner Brothers Dream, as do many of the fairies that have their origin in Henry Fuseli's eighteenth-century illustrations (and who co-exist very uneasily with the pixies of Sir John Waterhouse).
Seems Blair resents the fact that he can't afford a pad in Chiantishire
(Tuscany) along with all the other well-heeled Socialists who have second homes there, so it's become traditional for Tony, Cherie and fam-ily to sponge off whichever Italian politician offers free board and lodgings during August.
Staying with a friend, who cruelly declined the role of Miss Honeychurch, we explored the Chiantishire
countryside: long walks and siestas on hay bales, wine-tasting in Montepulciano, site-seeing at San Gimignano.
Simpson Travel (020 83925854)offers seven nights' self-catering near wine town of Castellina for pounds 610 (four sharing)fromMay 29,including car hire and flights ex- Gatwick.
So this year, desperate for some respite, Mr Blair has turned his back on a holiday in the busy hills of San Gimignano, the Italian Tuscan resort dubbed Chiantishire
, and opted for a more secluded break.
La accion se desarrolla en Toscana, en las colinas de Chianti (Siena) y el nucleo central es un pequeno grupo de habla inglesa --ingleses, algun gringo, un irlandes-- que le gusta Italia y establece una pequena comunidad en una colina a la que llaman Chiantishire
(algunos italianos intervienen en la accion pero son casi como parte del paisaje).
The Italy that he chose to portray in ``Stealing Beauty'' is the bucolic region between Florence and Siena that has been dubbed Chiantishire
by the many Britons who flock to its medieval villas and olive groves, where they anticipate a lifetime of long, lazy lunches.
And from the sixteenth century, when the idea of travel as education first surfaced, to our own age of student railcards, ~short breaks', Swan's Tours, and villas in Chiantishire
, the Continent has never ceased to beckon the seeker after knowledge and pleasure.