The next day I stayed in my apartment all morning till it was time to leave again at 1. I will admit that I was rather tired from the night before…
So I got myself ready, in my white dress that you have all seen many times before this time, and headed out. We were to meet up at a bus stop, not too far from where I was staying. And from there we were to take a bus (surprise, surprise, I don’t think anyone could have guessed that’s what we were going to do at a bus stop! 😛 ) out to Villa Gerini where todays event was taking place. Villa Gerini is a family home, however nobody lives there at present, the bus ride out took some 30 minutes.
This day was the “Jane Austen Day at the Villa”. It was a more relaxed event than the amazing ball the previous night. The villa had a large beautiful garden with a small lake (everyone called it the lake, I thought it was more of a pond. Ssaying that I felt like Cecil Vyse from A Room With a View who says something like: “it’s not really a lake, more of a puddle actually”. 😉 Anyone who has seen the lakes in Sweden will know what I talk about). It was indeed very pretty though!
As we arrived everyone set about exploring. Both the house, which was a lovely big house, and the garden.
I must say I was mighty impressed with all the settings that were arranged for these events! They were all so wonderfully beautiful and suitable and being there with all the other participants dressed in their amazing outfits it really felt like stepping into a film or something! A beautiful experience!
Andrea, Alessandra and Aniela admiring the view from the window (or posing for the camera perhaps…?)
So we spent the day strolling around the the lake.
Strolling around the lake
Personally I love this picture!
They had a pretty little bridge out to the small island in the lake. I have a weakness for pretty little bridges. They are so romantic!
Sitting in the shade chatting.
Look at all those fantastic costumes!
In the afternoon we were served a traditional afternoon tea, with both sandwiches and scones with jam and clotted cream. By that time I was rather hungry, not having eaten anything since breakfast, so it was delicious!
Refreshments being prepared
We were having wonderfully sunny weather, and it was all warm and nice. But just as me and Antoinette, one of the lovely Swiss girls, had gone off for a walk a bit further away, beyond the garden, it started to rain. Quite heavily. We were stuck in the rain where we tried to find shelter under a big tree. We didn’t really mind, except for the fact that I worried that my hair-do would spoil… Actually we had lots of fun standing there in the rain fantasizing about being rescued by some dashing hero, sort of like Marianne is rescues by Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility. But after we had been standing there for some time and no hero had shown up and the rain was still pouring down we gave up and decided to make a run for it. So we ran back all the way to the house, rather shocking I know…
The shower soon stopped however and everyone was free to venture outside again. And now some people decided it was time for games. Cricket to be more exact. As I mentioned before there were some British people there, and one of them was appointed the “cricket master” and was to teach those who wanted to play. I didn’t play. I stood with a bunch of the other girls cheering those who played on instead. It was all highly amusing! I don’t think you are really meant to be playing this game wearing a long Regency dress, but I daresay it made it all the more fun. Being a “cheerleader” wasn’t completely devoid of danger either however, once the ball went whizzing by just a few centimeters from my ear, and twice it almost hit my legs. But not quite, so it was fine. 😉
Having the rules of cricket explained to us
The game in full action
And from the other direction. Not everyone participated in the game…
At 8 o’clock everyone disappeared away upstairs to change into their evening finery, for now it was time for some dancing! The house was, of course, equipped with it’s own ballroom. And just like the day before we had live music. We danced and danced and danced. For several hours. I really think things like this are some of my favourite things to do! Like they sing in My Fair Lady; “I could have danced all night!” I think that maybe I could!
Even more dancing!
At 11 however it was time for dinner. In a long procession we promenaded two and two into the room where the dinner was served. There we got to hear the most unpleasant announcement (at least so I thought) that the diner marked the end of the Napoleonic/Jane Austen Weekend. 🙁 🙁 So sad!
Even though the event was now officially over I wouldn’t be leaving for another 3 hours. You see, the first bus back left at midnight, the next one at 1 am and the last one at 2 am. I had signed up for the last one of them. So I had some more time. And that time was very pleasantly spent conversing with the others who were still there, and dancing! Yes, we managed to convince Donald to teach us some more dancing! So we almost did dance all night! Well, at least till 2. It was wonderful!
Our little “extra dance class” just before leaving
And so ended another wonderful day! I was very sad to part from all the lovely people I had met, but the hope of soon meeting again somewhere made it a little easier. And in the meantime Facebook is a fantastic way of keeping up the contact!
I still have more pictures from my time in Florence that I’ll be sharing with you.