I concur with you about Tuscanny, and notably Siena. It is easy to fall in love with that area. My wife and I vacationed there a few years ago. We missed the Palio, but watched in on film.
I can't blame you if you decide to go back. Great memories.
Researching surnames Ianniello, Tamburrino, Mattora/Martora/Mattori & Scialla in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta, Campania.
My wife and I rented a small house in Settignano next to Fiesole. The house sat in his olive grove by the side of the road and we rented in October while the olives were being picked and they would squish in your mouth and the oil would pour out. Its the best time to go during this season.
Settignano is Michalangelo's hometown and his family house is open to the public and is at the end of the bus line from the Duomo and RR station (20 minutes) and up on the side of the Arno valley so you can see the entire city of Florence if you catch a lift up to the top of mountain and picnic.
Oh yes olne other thing there is an hourly superrapido in the early AM 18.104.22.168.10AM for two hour trip to Rome which we went for each day commuting to Rome and coming home in the evening,5,6,7,8,9,PM eating on the train or in Rome and catching the bus in Florence at the RR station to the last stop Settignano. =Peter=