I am so sorry about this radio silence. I have been busy with work and then with traveling..three weekends in a row traveling. Now home for two weekends and then traveling again!
First I have to tell you about Tuscany. It is amazing. I have been to southern part of Italy and I have been to Northern part of Italy on the Swiss border but never been to Tuscany and my dream to go there got finally true.
We booked a villa close to the small town called Montepertoli. This villa was a recommendation of my husband’s work colleague. It was a hot tip, the place was fantastic. Huge lemon and orange trees growing around it. There was a tennis court overlooking to the vineyards and the valley, a swimming pool, we had a huge own terrace with banana lounges and it was just exceptionally good. The owners were the most warm hearted people I have ever met and everything was just perfect. We had their own red and white wine plus a bottle of grappa waiting for us in our villa to welcome us.
You need a car to get there and in general you definitely need to drive in Tuscany to see all the hidden spots. The villa -La Pianore- we booked can be found here. The pictures on the website are far from flattering but I guess the business goes so well that they do not need to invest in marketing.
Here are some photos from villa -the view was stunning!
It was raining before we got there so the tennis court was a bit wet but all the time we stayed there was sunny and warm and we enjoyed playing tennis overlooking to the valley!
Then some red hot tips of the towns to visit:
Volterra -a medieval town was fantastic and so was Sienna. Other place I can warmly recommend is Florence, it was one of the most beautiful cities I have been to. Breathtaking! The Renaissance still has its footprint there in the most gorgeous cathedral and statues all around the square. Eating was so cheap. We went to a really lovely brasserie near the cathedral and it was 1e for an Americano that was one of the best coffees I have ever drunk!
Cathedral of Florence. The recent National geographic magazine had an article of the cathedral of Florence and the dome of it. The construction work took 175 years!!! It was such a funny consequence to read this article whilst being in Italy and being able to view it straight after reading the article.
One place to visit is http://www.vicchiomaggio.it/. It is a vinyard we went to. The wine is fantastic! The reds were for my taste. Deep strong flavours. They produce mainly Chianti Classico but they also do wine 100% merlot although it is 205e a bottle!! We had a lovely 3 course lunch there with wine picked for the meals. The surroundings of this castello as they call the vineyards are beautiful and the tour was super informative -it was so interesting to see the cellar, vineyard, hear about wine and olive oil making. I warmly recommend this place. They have also accommodation at the castello.
Our trip was fantastic until our daughter got chickenpox 4 days before we were supposed to travel home. WOW. Crazy. She got such a bad pox that we did not sleep for two nights as she was in so much pain, high fever. The most ironic thing was that as a doctor’s daughter I always pack all the possible medication with me including several varieties of antibiotics etc. When packing for the trip I remember thinking if I should take the chickenpox cream with me just in case…and I did not…so ironic.
Anyway, go to Tuscany if you have a chance to it is a wonderful place!