I’m Maggie, born and raised on the Monteoliveto hill, locally called “Il Poggio”. I’m the lucky heir of an ancient house with a million-dollar view of San Gimignano. The panoramic vista seen from my home is printed on postcards, painted on canvas and found in the dreams of lovers. This exquisite view exists just behind me, just beyond the mounds of wild mint leaves.  

At dawn, the sun rises and thins out the fog, illuminating the hills, the crowns of the olive trees and the rows of vines that run toward the mountains. Here, one can glimpse the sprint of the hare, the flight of the pheasant and the capricious play of the young deer over the open fields. Yellow waves of wheat stand in contrast to an ocean of verdant green dotted by violet crocuses and delicate red poppies. 

Looming large in the foreground is San Gimignano, a medieval fortress whose walls have been rooted in the valleys of Chianti since 1199. Its famous towers were built to hold the celestial vault and have been standing stoically since before I was making flower crowns with wild daisies.