A short break in Tuscany – Part Two

I’ve been a bit busy lately, but I’ve finally found five minutes to carry on telling you about my trip to Tuscany.

My husband, youngest son and I spent four days exploring the area around Gallicano, a picturesque town surrounded by mountains. My main reason for wanting to go there was because I wanted to visit the Grotte del Vento, the Wind Caves. I’d discovered these caves online while doing some research for my current work in progress, and I’d written a scene set inside them. Now I wanted to see them for myself, to check if the scene would work or not!

After a half-hour drive up into the mountains, we arrived at the caves, a very unimposing place that looked more like a park rangers’ station than a tourist attraction.

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I love caves, having been to the Cheddar Gorge in the UK a few times when I was little. This was on a much smaller scale, but fascinating nonetheless. The locals used to use the caves as a fridge up until the end of the 19th century, taking advantage of the cool air that blasts through the tunnels.

The caves are pretty impressive, with their stalactites and stalagmites and various formations. Towards the end of the tour, the guide asked if we wanted to her to turn off the lights and experience the caves as the first explorers had when they found them. Obviously we said yes, and it was a pretty tense few minutes, standing there in the pitch black. All I can say is that those first explorers were very brave people!

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It was a tiring but thrilling experience, and I’m so glad we went. In particular as I found out that my scene will work, exactly as I wrote it! This dark, creepy tunnel will feature in it (apologies for the blurriness).

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For more information, click on this link (in English): Grotta del Vento

My book, The Healer’s Secret, should be out later this year or early next year.

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