Welcome to Tuscany
Home to Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The world’s best gelato. Negronis. Chianti wine. Truffles and some of the most amazing food on the planet.
Those who follow me on Instagram would have seen that I spent the last week under the glorious, yet somewhat erratic, Tuscan skies – gorging on all of the above.
Driving through Italy’s Tuscan countryside has long been a bucket list trip for me. I’ve always romanticised the idea of hiring a little car and driving through the rolling hills, touring the many vineyards, and eating my way through the restaurants of romantic villages perched on hilltops.
In fact, I’d romanticised it to the point of mentally reserving this trip for a honeymoon. Yet, the pull of Italy was too strong this year and it just felt like now was the perfect time to go on this adventure with the boy.
I’ll give the game away – Tuscany didn’t disappoint.
In fact, I’m not sure it could have been any better…
A night to remember in Florence
The holiday started with a beautiful day in Florence. We checked into the most incredible Airbnb flat with a terrace that literally backed straight onto the Duomo
We found a gorgeous rooftop bar (La Terazza Lounge) to watch the sunset over the river
followed by dinner under some 16th century brick arches, covered in twinkling lights
Then we strolled on home to enjoy the night lights of Florence and the incredible view of the Duomo over a glass of wine from our terrace…
…it was about here that my boyfriend got down on one knee and ASKED ME TO MARRY HIM! ?
Of course I said yes ? I always knew the place was romantic!
As you can imagine, we spent the rest of the holiday on cloud 9. I had butterflies in my stomach for about 4 days straight, then I got weirdly emotional and cried when I saw a couple get married on top of San Gimignano. Fiancé (woahh! That’s a fun word) now probably thinks I’m crazy. The idea that I’ve found someone who I absolutely adore, and who wants to spend the rest of their life with me still gives me all the butterflies.
Anyway, back to the rest of the holiday.
Normally when you’ve been dreaming about visiting a place for years, you build it up so much in your head that it ends up being a little disappointing, at some point. Tuscany is not one of those places. I thought maybe our engagement gave me rose-tinted glasses, but since looking through all our photos, I know that it still would have been magical no matter what.
I mean …. take a look for yourself. These are some of my favourite photos from the trip, but there were way too many – so I may have to go into more detail on my favourite spots in upcoming posts.
I’ve left some Tuscany holiday tips at the bottom of this post too – be sure to check them out if you’re planning a trip yourself!
The amazing hilltop city of Pitigliano – we found it on our way from Saturnia to Montepulciano
Tuscany holiday tips:
- Parking – If you’re visiting any big cities like Florence overnight, pre-arrange parking for the car at a place like Garage Michelangelo. You need to book parking spaces in advance and they also arrange your city car pass for your trip.
- Wineries – Most of the vineyards are small, family run businesses and you pretty much always need to book 2-3 days ahead of time if you want to visit. Even if you just want to walk along the grounds. It’s very different to Australia or the US where you can normally just show up and explore the property, look into a little shop or two, try a few wines.
- Don’t overstretch – choose your areas carefully because you don’t want to spend the entire trip driving. The roads are mostly winding and require a lot of focus so 2 hours feels a lot like 4 hours.
- Accommodation – If you want a more authentic experience, stay at an Agriturismo. It loosely translates to farm-stays. Essentially it’s staying in farmhouse resorts, usually run by a family. I always do a lot of research before booking accommodation and both of the Agriturismo’s that we stayed in were beyond incredible. There’s just no way that I won’t be visiting them both again, soon!