Once upon time in Tuscany

All my projects come with a bunch of different stories. Some of them, for some reason, remain more vivid in my memory. I don’t know what to attribute that to - to the people I’ve been through these adventures with, or to something else.

One of these projects, which I will remember forever, took place in Tuscany, at a villa near Florence.

In general, from the very beginning everything was crazy. This project was originally led by a different decorator, but at the last moment (just two weeks before the wedding) it turned out that they simply could not keep working on it. So, the agency asked me to salvage the wedding. It was impossible to say no, and I called Alina, whom I had long known as a very responsible person and a stunning florist, to the rescue.

We had a quick discussion, agreed on all the remaining nuances of preparation, and got ready to fly to Italy.

Adventures began already at the agency’s office, when we arrived to pick up “just a couple of boxes” with prepared decor, and saw this enormous stack of boxes:

Our suitcases were already stuffed with our belongings and tools.

But, in only an hour and a half, we miraculously managed to fit almost everything in.
Upon our arrival in Florence, we got a car. It’s hard to imagine a car that would be less fitting for a decorator - it was a tiny Volkswagen. Only Daewoo Matiz would be smaller , and even that I’m not sure about.

We arrived at the villa, settled in, inspected the location and, being very happy with ourselves, went God knows where to pick up the flowers, which had already been ordered by the previous decorator.

What deserves a separate story is how Google and other navigator apps function in Europe. It is quite a normal situation when the navigator takes you to an open field and tells you that you have arrived at your destination. Then you understand that the last time you saw buildings or any people was like 30 minutes ago.

This time it was almost the same. Halfway through our journey, we realized that we were simply starving, the last time we ate something being early in the morning for breakfast, while it was already closer to the evening. Then, we saw a sign saying that a McDonald’s was ahead, which I had not eaten at for about five years. And you know what? We still remember our lunch there, because we ate buns with yogurt dressing and .... real lobster! Lobster! At McDonald's! How this is possible - I still can’t explain.

Encouraged and warmed up, we kept driving, and came to the edge of the tiniest village, where, as the decorator who ordered the flowers assured us, a real flower base was located.

Near the building to which Google lead us, this guy met us in complete silence ...

After half an hour of telephone attempts to contact the owner of the base, who did not speak English, we were almost desperate. Then, he remembered that crazy Russians were supposed to pick up flowers from him. Another half hour - and he arrived. A young Italian who did not speak any language other than Italian. He happily opened the fridge and brought us our flowers.

Here, I need to pause, because at first we did not believe that what he brought out was ours and laughed at his assurances as if he was telling us a really good joke. Then, realizing that these were really our flowers, we became speechless. When I asked the previous decorator, who ordered the flowers, how many boxes there were, I was told that there were only a couple of boxes. Is that definitely right? Are you sure, because our car is really small? Yes, definitely just a couple of boxes.

And can you imagine our feelings when we saw this? I think I took a photo of Alina exactly at the moment when she realized that this was not a joke. By the way, a few more boxes didn’t fit the frame.

This is definitely a force majeure situation. In which even the suitcases do not fit in the trunk.

This was followed by a two-hour, most emotional Google translate exhange with the owner of the base. As a result, we witnessed real magic - having pulled flowers out of the boxes and sorting them correctly, he placed almost all the flowers (except for three boxes of delicate delphiniums) in our car! We simply called a taxi and sent the delphiniums in it, and then drove our tiny car back.

Needless to say, by the end of it the Italian guy and us parted as best friends ever, with hugs and promises to hang out as soon as possible.

All the further preparations took place in the villa, with trips to stunning local family restaurants. It was in one of these restaurants that we tried the most delicious caprese salad, with the best burrata cheese and tomatoes.

Of course, we were simply exhausted by the three-day set-up - in particular, because the decorator did not convey the volume of work to us correctly, and we still lacked at least one person to help us with the work. And there was simply no one to turn to.
Nevertheless, I believe hat we managed to create a chic design, with the original project almost completely scrapped.

Our final adventure was our trip to the airport, when we covered a distance of 20 km in three hours at night, drove into a terrible impasse, where some shady guys began to move towards us, discussing something in their car, and eventually we arrived at the parking lot for rental cars at 3am - just to find out that the airport is closed until 5am!

The airport guard looked like he was about to call us an ambulance, for we laughed so hard that we began to choke. This surely was the climax of our adventures.

But that’s alright, two hours of sleep in unimaginable poses - and we were on our way home.