Not many regions like Tuscany hold secrets of pure Dolce Vita style. The road trip in Tuscany was an idea to enrich our portfolio of hotels, wineyards and simply amazing spots all trhough this beautiful land, home of Italian Renaissance. Florence, of course, is the capital of this amazing region, and the city, with its Arno river, the splendid architecture and the vibrant life is the rightful descendant of the capital of Italy along the last century. We have taken contacts with more hotels that you can find in the list of our hotels, visited for you the right spots that you will enjoy the next time you’ll come to visit us in Italy.
- Montecatini Terme: it is a delicious small town, 30 minuts by car from Florence, where the wellness is the keyword for whoever decides to spend time in this liberty style small town. We organize tours of the famous SPAs located in town. Every moment of the year this place holds some special activities for all the family. To explore with our tours, togheter with the amazing cuisine and the wines.
- Poppi: travelling around with the car, Poppi has been the first small town to be explored by our team. Far away in the eastern part of Tuscany region, this small castle stands in the middle of the woods. TO reach it, we had to cross mountains and hills where in this time of the year the snow covers everything and gives a special taste of winter. The castle is visible from far as it stans in the middle of a foggy landscape like a silent guardian. To reach the castle you have to climb the ancient midieval town that lays beneath. Enjoy a coffe togheter with the locals and presented ourselves, we have been given direction to visit the interior of the castle built in XII century and that holds a very “intellectual” heart. Inside the castle is located a precious library with manuscripts from Xth century AD. The place is even more peculiar thanks to the perfect state of the building itseld as you can see form the pictures. A magical spot to be absolutely visited. After visiting the castle, we have dedicated ourselves to the local cuisine. There is a special restaurant on the square in front of the castle, Albergo Ristorante Casentino where we enjoied a special italian meal. We had a combination of different pastas with local sauces (rabbit, wild pig, bacon and walnuts) that just made our day. The combination goes with the local red wine, which was fantastic.
- Anghiari: this town is home to one of the cruelest events that took place in this region during the middle ages. Two armies fought just in front of the walls of the town: on one side the Pope followers, on the other side the Democrats represented by the Florence soldiers and its allies. A tremendous clash that still echoes trhough the centuries until now and that gives even more charme to the exquisite architecture of the town. A big road crosses from the the center of the city to the far end of the horizon.
- Arezzo: Travelling south east of Florence, Arezzo in this time of the year is a jewel of Christmas traditions. Nice markets in the main square, bells all around, light shows over the ancient buildings, give a particular taste to winter and give us impression of a forever happy city. We spent a small time in Arezzo because of the long journey that we have planned, but its architecture, and the kindness of the people is shocking for whoever travels along its roads.
- Vinci: Anyone who knows a bit of Italian art history understand the name Mona Lisa. Vinci is the home town of one of the greatest minds of Renaissance times. Known for his uncomparable thrist for knowledge, his interests moved from painting to architecture, from writing to physics. In this quite corner of Tuscany more then 500 years ago was born the master. In the middle of the town, as always lately, stands a magnificent tower from the early XIII century of the family that ruled over this piece of land before Florence conquered everything. The surroundings are the places where Leonardo made his experiments and conceived the idea of the flying man, the war tank and the easier bycicle. The rich museum is located in two buildings and has the goal to explain to the public how the master achieved his tasks and what would look nowadays most of his inventions. A smart afternoon to spend while travelling around the hills.
- Cerreto Guidi: in this time of the year, Cerreto, small town close to Vinci, holds a famous festival of italian traditions: The Presepe competition. Christians from all over the world reproduce in scale in a corner of the house the time of nativity of Christ, by representing it in many ways, mostly in a cave suroounded by his parents, animals and shepherds. In Cerreto Guidi the tradition has turned to a moment for the entire town to celebrate by creating their own and setting them in the middle of the town, on the upper part under the Medici Villa. This borgo used to be the summer house of the most important family of Florence that ruled over these lands for more then one century and which promoted the diffusion of culture and wealth among of all sorts of classes. Cerreto Guidi’s villa was unfortunately closed when we arrived but here you can find all the informations to get ready for another jump in the past.
- Florence is the quintessence of so called City of Art. Every corner, every building, every person who crosses this city knows that is travelling in time togheter with the masters that changed the world more then 500 years ago in all the aspects of life: economics, arts, sciences. It has been possible thank to the longview of the Medici Family and above all on the people of Florence that welcomed open minds rather then theological arcibishops… For this reason, Florence was divided during its history in two fractions: the Guelfi and the Ghibellini. The former were loyals to the democratic Medici family, the latter was supported by Rome and the Vatican hierarchy.
Wineyard Fattoria del Teso: We have visited and are willing to organize for you a special tour to Fattoria del Teso where we have tested the local wines and home made products that since many years have been produced in this corner of Tuscany. The guy, Alfredo, who took us around was kind enough to show us the hidden corners of the winery and the production of their finest vin santo (sweet wine) that will embellish our Christmas table togheter with Cantuccini (another specialty from Tuscany to be tasted togheter with sweet wine). We organize wine tasting for individuals and groups in this special spot where kindness, tradition and quality are to be tasted in every single moment.
Restaurant La Baita: Set on the mountains, behind the hill of Montecatini Terme a small place completely built into wood and stones awaits people since 1949 to taste some of the finest specialties of local cuisine: especially the Fiorentina stake. This crazy piece of meat of approx 1 Kg is served togheter with soups and warm polenta. An amazing dish that was served with the courtesy of old times, where everybody knew each other. At the end of the meal when the wine makes you smile even too much, the owner of the restauarant sat with us and talked about his life living in Us more then 30 years ago. Outside the night was shiny and the stars spakled fiercely. The air was thin and fresh. Another amazing time in a local restaurant.
Dishes to try along your staying in Tuscany:
- Pappardelle with wild pig and fresh tomato sauce
- Polenta with veil cooked into wine
- Tortelli with fresh potatoes, walnuts and sour cream
- Fried Rapa veggies
Wines to try or drink abundantly…:
- Morellino di Scansano
- Rosso di Montecarlo
- any local wines which were all delicious