Tuscan Hills—Back Story

The Pretena Vally—where our hearts remain

Turning point

This song shifted our focus from Spain to Italy. That change was organic and actually happened as we were writing this song. While gazing through the open window into the Tuscan countryside a light rain began to fall. We suddenly felt a connection with Tuscany that seemed to take hold and grow stronger. The mystery of Italy has a way of sneaking up on you, luring you into a romance and then never letting go.


House In Ruins

In a local newspaper Cheryl read about the renovation of old farmhouses in the hills just outside of Florence. Hmm. Perhaps our search for a soulful place to create a “studio” had truly begun. Within days, we followed the leads to find the ruins called “Pretena,” high on the hill overlooking an expansive, yet intimate valley. Barely a wall was still standing. What was once a house and barn were hardly recognizable. Yet, on that remote overgrown spot, we felt an immediate familiarity—that was IT for us! That discovery was absolutely the pivotal point where the dream seemed destined to become reality. We’d found a home.

Barn In Ruins

We were struck by the simplicity of the place and wanted to create a song that was earthy, timeless and somewhat mysterious. The drums needed to merge with the steady rhythms of the guitar to conjure a sense of ancient civilizations, as far back as the Etruscans, who had lived in these hills centuries ago. It had to evoke our desire to get real, digging our hands down into the earth to plant seeds. Like so many generations before us, we felt the tugs of the beginning of a long love affair of the heart and soul—entwined with place.

This is the song that forever speaks to us about this special spot on earth and that unique time in our journey. Ancient stones seem to reflect both the past and yet point toward a future.  How gently that dust soaks in as it lightly rains—so romantic, so melancholy. Ah, the Tuscan Hills!

This is the place where we feel complete.