Living in Lady R’s 11th century tower in Sovicille, near Siena, was quite something.
The first night I arrived, upon entering the modernised interior of the tower, which is in glorious countryside, I was led up a winding stairway to my room.
It had everything you could possibly need – a plush comfortable bedroom with stunning views across the hills; an adjoining bathroom with scented soap and clean white towels alongside a well-equipped kitchen.
What I hadn’t banked on, was the resident ghost (or should I say ghosts.)
Picture this. I looked round and took in the rooms.
In the centre of the kitchen table a candle was placed in an ornate holder.
It was a warm, windless evening and the shutters were closed.
I was completely alone as no one had yet arrived that term so I climbed into a warm bubble bath in a totally relaxed state.
As I lay there, congratulating myself on my move, I heard the distinct sound of something being thrown sharply in the kitchen.
Nervously I ventured out to see if someone had entered the tower.
There wasn’t a soul but there was a candle lying in the corner of the room which had moved from its central position on the table. Inexplicable...
Very soon the tower filled with students from all over Europe.
I remember the Spaniards as I enjoyed communicating with them in Italian whilst trying to get the gist of their Spanish.
One late afternoon, after a couple of red wines, a group of us decided to venture into the woods nearby for a walk.
As dusk fell, we became completely lost in the thick of the trees and foliage.
We tried not to panic, until one kind soul reminded us that wild boar lived in these parts.
The thought of a tusked beast lunging at me was enough to give me the willies.
Thankfully, someone managed to find the exit and boy were we pleased; by now it was dark, and we were getting cold and hungry.
Luckily Lady R was there to greet us back with a hot toddy.