Italy has stolen my heart when I visited it for the first time in 2007. I was there only three times so far, but every time I felt that it is my place in the world. You will find my Roman post here and beginning of this trip here. I don’t really know what I can tell you about Tuscany. During our holidays I was trying to scribble down how will I describe all the smells that surrounded us as it was the thing that struck me most, everything smelt soooo nice. If you’ve ever smelled summer with its mix of heat, sweet flowers, dried grass, you know what I am talking about.
This is the closest I got to visualize the Italian summer scent.
We didn’t have too detailed plan, I flicked through a few guides and listed a few places that looked interesting. Unfortunately we forgot the guide that was supposed show us the best routes, and on first trip we also lost very detailed guide that Tomek got from his mom and we ended with one I experimentally downloaded to my Kindle and a map with highlighted scenic routes. But Tuscany has so much to offer and you can get lost and you always find beautiful places. We visited places like San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni, Pienza, Montalcino, Orbetello, Pitigliano, Sovana, Pitigliano, Colle Val d’Elsa, Greve in Chianti and probably ten or more that I forgot about.
San Gimignano was the first town we visited, it wasn’t as touristy as I thought it will. When you visit it just be aware that there at least two gelaterie in the market square, but only one is the World Ice Cream Championship winner. To be fair we didn’t see any difference between them, other than a flavor selection.
In Colle Val d’Elsa we saw preparations to Il Rinascimento di Colle. Everywhere there were knights and people in medieval clothes. Too bad we didn’t come back in the evening for the event, but maybe it was better for us, as the town could be less attractive with loads of tourists.
The Tuscan towns are situated on hills, it means two things for you a lot of walking uphill (but you will have excuse to eat a dessert later on) and beautiful views.
Yep, there are vineyards everywhere and the wine is delicious.
Italian cats are really happy cats with the amount of sun they get. Too bad ours couldn’t go with us, they would be delighted.
There were dogs as well. This one was a serious guy.
Some towns were very quiet. Especially when it was raining.This one was at the end of the world, or at least the road finished there.
Saturnia – natural spa, the water is always 37°C.
Sovana is tiny, but so beautiful.
Pitigliano is a city cut into the tufa.
Siena is really lovely, but my heart is still loyal to Florence.
Everywhere in Italy there are cute, old school shop windows, I could stop by every one of them.
I must admit when I’m on holidays I usually don’t too many food photos. I think one of the reasons is that taking a photo you distance yourself from the current moment. Shopping for fruits and veggies in Italy is just beautiful experience, there are so many fruits and veggies to choose and most of them were grown in Italy, it was quite heart-breaking going shopping in Ireland.
My favorite restaurant was Ristorante la Castellana in Greve in Chianti. Apparently a season for porcini mushrooms started, so aside from the dishes they offered they offered also porcini mushrooms in an addition to any dish you wanted. The food was so simple, but delicious.
And this is Ferrara in Emilia-Romagna nice town, where our friend grow up and were we spent last two days. Along with Lucca it has the best preserved Renaissance city walls. Ferrara is also a city where everybody cycles.
Proper Italian breakfast. Ciambella, the Italian doughnut was delicious, the best breakfast I’ve got in Italy.