Strolling down vineyards with the most vibrant red grapes, sitting in a piazza enjoying a ice cold gelato, wandering down cyprus tree lined roads, and cobblestone streets that were laid by the Romans… This is Tuscany to me!!!
Tuscany is Italy’s largest region as it is made up of mostly miles and miles of rolling green hills… It’s the birthplace of The Italian Renaissance, so as you can imagine there is art everywhere reminding visitors of the regal history of Italy! Here the landscapes are gorgeous, the food and wine are superb, and the people are so genuine!
Which towns should you visit?
This charming hilltop town is definitely my favorite town in The Tuscan Region!! My family and I visited this town for the first time 8 years ago and have been dreaming of coming back ever since. So we finally did it!!! We returned and we stayed at the most amazing quiant 15 room ancient villa immersed in the tranquil and abundant surrounding countryside!
Cortona is a small charming town in the Valdichiana, or Chiana Valley, in the province of Arezzo in southern Tuscany. The city, enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times!
I most definitely recommend staying at the whimsical Villa Baldelli! It is located right below Cortona and it has such amazing grounds! (Funny enough this is the same villa we stayed at when we visted 8 years ago!!)
From the moment you enter the Tuscan region, you are under a spell! These luscious green hills and sleepy afternoons sitting in the vineyard really capture your heart!!!
This is the view out of the stairwell as you climb up to the top floor where we had the most beautiful rooftop villa! Lucca is a quint Tuscan town full of the most charming little streets and incredible restaurants that are family run!
This city is right on the beautiful Serchio River and is known for its well preserved renaissance walls! This city is such a hidden gem. It is not too far from the famous town of Pisa, yet has much more charm and culture if you ask me! Lucca is also known as the city with 99 churches, as you wander thoughout the city you will pass so many different churches, impressive big churhces, and cute small churches!
Have you heard of the world famous Horse races in Siena?? Well, they’re definately a big part of Siena’s fame, apart from its medival charm, and beautiful architecture! This city is full of things to discover… It is a quite a hidden gem amongst these rolling hills! Have you seen the film “Letters To Juliet”? If not, pause reading this, and go watch it!!!! In the film they stayed at this exact villa when they were traveling through Tuscany on their search for true love… This property really embodies the Tuscan heart and peaceful energy of the Country! Borgo Scopetto Relais
Just walking around the property was so relaxing as the breeze softly rustled the towering cyprus trees, happy kitties layed around bathing in the Tuscan sun without a worry in the world. And Italian couples sitting in the courtyard enoying a glass of warm red wine recently pressed from the nearby vineyards!
This property is nicely secluded from any tourisim and chaos. It is only a 25 minute drive to the city center of Siena where they hold the annual horse races. Siena is a medieval town, and some might say the lovliest medival city in Tuscany! The centre of Siena has even been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, so this city is very incredible!
For lunch we stumbled upon this wonderful little cavern restaurant called Gallo Nero in the old city. The atmosphere of this restaurant is so unique, and very medieval feeling! It is like you are in some underground medieval chamber with candlelight, and they just happen to have some amazing food!!!
I ordered a side of roasted potatoes, a mixed salad, and the soup special of the day. The soup was a Tuscan white bean soup puree, with a few little whole white beans mixed in, drizzeld with wild black truffle oil, and topped with tapioca crisps. I absolutely loved this restaurant, and its delicious food!!
Out of the towns we visited in Tuscany, these few are truly my favorite! Each is equally unique and beautiful! These rolling green hills and cobble stones streets will forever be in my heart and mind!! I truly love this proud, culturally rich, and BEAUTIFUL country!! 🇮🇹
As we wrap up 2018, and head into 2019, I am planning my year to come, my goals, and dreams. I am reviewing the past year, the mistakes I made, what I can learn from them, and how to make better decisions moving forward. Next, I will be writing a post about my favorite places I have traveled to this past year!
Until the next adventure,
Chow Bella Travels
~AKA Bella Popa