Tuscany. Chianti. Pisa. Siena. Florence. Destinations for any entry level Italy lover. But how was it that in all our years of visiting Italy, we never made it to these fairytale locations? Were we saving the best for last without realising it!?
So this month we spent 10 blissful days in the heart of Tuscany. And it was absolutely the best. That’s how I describe it. How was Tuscany? It was the best. Simple as that.
From the rolling hills sprinkled with grape vines or olive groves, to the fantastically historical towns, villages, or even cities, that once experienced, can only be described as the best of their kind.
Think I’m overstating? Look at these photos:
We started in Pisa with a newly walking toddler, so the only thing leaning over more than the tower was me!
Our home for the first few days was just outside the very impressive town of San Gimignano, the ‘Manhattan of the middle ages’. A hilltop town full of delightful towers that compete for relevance and status. And perhaps for the best views? Whatever the case, it makes for some dramatic photo opportunities:
Lots of tourists though! So our advice is to arrive early in the morning to get the best parking in one of the very useful parking garages, just outside the ancient gates of the car-less city.
In San Gimignano, Amelie experienced what it must feel like to be a movie star, as she was photographed from all angles by a group of Chinese tourists. We assume they were amazed by the colour of her hair, and I’m sure the awesomeness of the rest of her. So naturally, we had to photograph them back!
There is a famous ice cream shop located in the central Piazza della Cisterna: “Gelateria Dondoli” – 3-time winner of the world’s best gelato. Their ice creams were enough to bring us back into the dreamy town on several delicious occasions.
We stayed at a little B&B called “Ponte a Nappo” just 900 meters outside of town offering the best views. The owners had several cats which were constantly chased or stroked. Or a combination of both depending on the time of day or Amelie’s mood.
Our next ‘home’ was in the middle of the Chianti region, near Greve in Chianti. There we stayed at a beautiful little farm called Poggio Asciutto, known as an ‘agriturismo’, which means the farm is a working farm with hectares of grapes and olives, with a guest / appartments attached. It’s run by the wonderful Eva and Massimo, and the farm delights at every opportunity. From the breathtaking views:
To the cute and cosy apartments dating back to the 13th century:
To the authentic supper club dinners with 4 courses and lots of Chianti Classico to indulge in.
To the the finest horses you can hope to ride – western style – up rolling Tuscan hills, exploring the entire valley.
I loved this place the most. We will definitely be back. And of course, there was another cat for Amelie to chase!
Thanks to the convenient location of these two wonderful homes, we were able to explore much of what Tuscany had to offer.
Or the rainy delights of Florence:
Or the simple pleasures found throughout the rest of the region, like the little sleepy town Montefioralle.
Tuscany you are now our favourite. See you next year!
Lovely pictures! The region is absolutely adorable. Every time we crossed the Alpes and took the first glimpse of the soft hills of Tuscany we immediately felt like homecoming. Everything there – the earth, the climate, the food, the wine, the people – is just perfect. Oh, how I miss Tuscany! Thanks for taking me back on memory lane. I’m glad you enjoyed the time and I’m sure you’ll be back soon.
If you don’t mind I’m going to post a link to my (German) blog post about our stay in Tuscany here: https://germanabendbrot.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/von-der-sehnsucht-nach-italien-und-saftig-saurem-zitronenkuchen/ You also find addreses and tipps in the category “An fremden Tischen” 🙂
And some wine shopping tipps here: https://germanabendbrot.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/panta-rhei-oder-die-toskana-im-herbst-und-eine-runde-weinkisten-tetris/