Holiday Villas and Small Hotels in Tuscany

Tuscany Itineraries- A Letter from Cristina

Dear friends, Cristina U. has kindly written me a summary of her travels to Tuscany, and it is the least I can do to thank her for being willing to share her experiences with us.




Hello,

I just returned from a four day trip in Tuscany with friends, and because I followed many of the suggestions from your blog, I thought I could send you a short summary of our trip in hopes that it can help future travellers! Tuscany is stunning, and I can't wait to return one day!

Day 1

From Bolonia, the city that we arrived in and picked up our rental car, we travelled to Lucca, the city of bicycles and gelato, plazas and bell towers. We ate on the terrace of the oval amphitheatre plaza. There are many souvenir shops, and we visited one that was dedicated to Puccini, the composer that was born in Lucca. In one of the churches, they have daily performances at 7 PM of famous arias. We were there for four hours before we travelled to the nearby city of Pisa. We visited the area with the famous tower, dome, and baptistery. We enjoyed the sun on a walk around the beautiful dome. After this, we all ate dinner in town before returning to the hotel to sleep.

Day 2

After eating breakfast, we left for Volterra. I highly suggest bringing a GPS, as ours helped us quite a bit on the journey. We were surprised by how much we liked Volterra. We walked through the city, enjoying the open air and smell of candles that were burning in the churches. Next we visited the beautiful palace plaza, which now serves as the town hall. Alabaster is very typical of the region, and there are many stores that sell stunning figures and decorations. After this we drove to the Roman ruins, which we viewed from a balcony and enjoyed very much. The visit ended in a park with great views of the town.

We next travelled to San Gimignano, a small, medieval village that is full of tourists and souvenir shops. We ate on a terrace, drove through the plazas, visited the towers, and tried some delicious gelato. We were there for three hours, and then we drove to Siena.

I liked Siena more than the first time I visited it. It was dark outside, and we were in the plaza that holds the Palio. Here, there are many shops and restaurants to be enjoyed. Throughout the streets there are many beautiful palaces. We visited the Duomo, but could not enter because it was late. Next we returned to the plaza where we had a nice dinner. We left for our rural accommodation with cameras full of pictures.

Day 3

This day was dedicated entirely to Florence. We left our car in a parking area in the beautiful area close to the Pitti Palace. After we saw the palace, we went to the stunning Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery. The Uffizi has two-hour long lines unless you buy tickets online first. After this we went to the Piazza della Signoria, where the beautiful architecture brought tears to my eyes. When it started to rain, we sought shelter  in a café across from the Duomo. There is also a line here, but it does not take long to get in. We visited the shop that is in the catacombs, where there are many interesting books. After this, we stopped at a store and bought some homemade soap. We found a place to eat near the Dante house.

After eating, we returned to the Piazza della Signoria where we relaxed in a café. We went to the Gucci Museum in the same plaza, a very cool place- art books and a café with benches, very modern and welcoming. Next we travelled through the city on bikes for two hours. First we saw the Accademia Gallery in the Santa Croce plaza. There are many great bars in this area that fill with locals and are less popular with the tourist crowd. We heard a great jazz band play some unique covers of popular hits. Next we biked to Santa Maria della Novella, and passed all the very expensive shops along the way. From here we went back to the Pitti Palace, dropped off our bikes, and picked up our car. Lastly, we drove the the Michelangelo Plaza to see the beautiful artwork before we drove to our house to relax for the night.

Day 4

Our last day was dedicated to the south of Tuscany. First we went to Pienza, a small and beautiful town. This area is famous for the wine and cheese, and for this reason there are many gourmet food shops that sell Chianti and Noble wine, and delicious pecorino cheeses. It was Easter Sunday, and there were many people out celebrating. From there we went to Montepulciano, which was also very beautiful. We walked up a street that was lined with shops selling local products. We had a delicious meal at Trattoria di Cagnano and then drove to some of the small villages in the area to take pictures of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Hot springs and spas are very typical of this area. After this, we visited Cortona and then went home. There is always something to see and do in Tuscany, and I can't wait for my next trip when I can visit some of the places I didn't see and revisit some of my favorites!

Kind regards,
Cris

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