A Tuscan Escape

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:

The Farm

Rolling hills of Tuscany

San Gimignano

San Gimignano viewGrape vines San Gimignano

We started in Pisa with a newly walking toddler, so the only thing leaning over more than the tower was me!

Pisa

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:

San Gimignano San GimignanoSan GimignanoSienaLots 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!

Chinese Tourists photographing AmelieThere 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.

San Gimignano Best GelatoWe 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.

B&B Ponte a NappoSan GimignanoB&B Ponte a Nappo B&B Ponte a Nappotuscany2_0003_Layer 11tuscany_0045_Layer 26

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:

breathtaking views from Poggio Asciuttopoggio asciuttotuscany_0036_Layer 35Farmhouse Poggio Asciutto

To the cute and cosy apartments dating back to the 13th century:

Poggio AsciuttoAmelie Poggio AsciuttoAmelie morning light

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.

Farmhouse Poggio AsciuttoHorse Riding Poggio AsciuttoHorse Riding Poggio Asciutto

I loved this place the most. We will definitely be back. And of course, there was another cat for Amelie to chase!

Farmhouse Poggio Asciuttotuscany2_0012_Layer 2

Thanks to the convenient location of these two wonderful homes, we were able to explore much of what Tuscany had to offer.

The towering beauty of Siena: Siena Cathedral Siena SienaSiena towerSienaSienaSiena

Or the rainy delights of Florence: Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore tuscany_0065_Layer 6Florence ponte vecchioDavid by Michelangelo in Florence

Or the simple pleasures found throughout the rest of the region, like the little sleepy town Montefioralle.Montefioralle

Tuscany you are now our favourite. See you next year!

3 comments

  1. 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.

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