TUSCANY

Part 1

Last update : Jan. 2018

 

Inspiring thousands of painting, countless books and poems, the breathtaking region of Tuscany is located north of Rome. Our first trip was to the Chianty Region (central Tuscany), home of the famous (and delicious!) Chianty Classico wine.

If you’re planning to visit the region of Chianty (and get a little drunk), you can gather some friends to rent a house with a pool or just book a few night in one of the marvellous country hotels Chianty has to offer (hotel recommendation later on).

You must go on a bike ride and wander around the hills near your hotel and just be dazzled by those magical landscapes. On more lazy and chill days, hang at the pool and enjoy the peaceful silence.

With that said, I highly recommend renting a car to go on day trips in some of Tuscany’s most beautiful villages. Allow yourselves to enjoy all of the richness this magical area has to offer. So, come on! Just open a map or an app and you will find countless small town and villages in the great Chianty region. Here are some recommendations based on my own (sweet) experience:

Click for shortcuts:

 
SAN GIMIGNANO

To my opinion, this town is the most beautiful of all. At least of all of those I've visited ...

Situated on a hill, like most medieval towns of the region, San Gimignano is surrounded by a wall. You should Take in account that two whole days are needed to see the entire town, being relatively large compared to other beautiful towns in the area. You can park your car just outside the walls and enter the town through one of the gates, for example Via Bonda, one of the main entrances that will lead you straight to the main avenue of the town.

San Gimignano was built in the 14th century and looks as if no one has touched it since then. The houses still looks Middle Ages. Beside the many shops and restaurants that have opened in it, the town still preserves its history, which is probably a big part of the charm you will feel when you walk through its streets.

In the center of town you will find Piazza Duomo with its shops, restaurants and of course a church. All middle Ages towns have a church, but this one is taking all the attention! It is so huge and high that it’s hard to catch it all in one shot. As you walk through the streets of the town, you will see the amazing towers everywhere- you can go up some of them, look down and see the whole town below you.

On Via Costarella you will find an entrance to a store with a miniature (but huge!) Reconstruction of the town, it's really nice to look at the whole town from a  bird's-eye view.

 

WHERE TO STAY?

I spent the weekend of my 27th birthday in Tuscany. The hotel was no less of an attraction than the Tuscan towns we visited during our vacation. Salvadonica is in Borgo del Chianti. Built of several ancient buildings, a restaurant and an endless garden with a pool that overlooks Tuscan hills - You’ll feel in a Tuscan dream. And of course, the food is great!

This recommendation is not an ad, I genuinely loved it. The hotel also offers cool activities that I would love doing any time: a balloon ride over the area, a picnic in the middle of hills of vineyards, oil painting classes, massages, off-road trips, horses, hiking in the hills with a specially made breakfast and more..

MONTERIGGIONI

Just 35-minute drive from San Gimignano or Seina is another medieval town, which is rather small. However, its small size only increases the uniqueness of the town. Monteriggioni is so small that it just does not seem logical that a group of people have ever lived in such a small town. It made me think, who lives here now? How many are them? What are they doing here all day? Sadly, I could not find answers. Just to emphasis how small the town is - it has only one row of houses and the surrounding wall is just 500 meters long.

As you will understand from the name – Monteriggioni - this town is also located on a hill, and of course- it is surrounded by a wall. Walk up the stairs toward the wall to see the amazing Tuscan view (if for some strange reason, you are lost in the smallest town in the world, search for Via Primo Maggio to access the wall). The city has two gates at both ends of the wall - one gate facing Florence and the other towards Rome.

If you’re in search of a peaceful and most quiet destination, this is the place to spend a night. The town has an ancient hotel, You should book a room in advance, there are not many. The hotel has parking spaces reserved.

 

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