We are currently in Padua, about to head out to explore Venice (yay!). But before we hop on the train I wanted to share a little taste of the magical few days we spent in Tuscany. Tuscany is full of beautiful cities and towns bursting with history, culture, art, food and wine. I am already mentally planning a return trip!
After watching a storm rage outside of our Tuscan cottage all morning the rain miraculously cleared and the sun came out and we made a beeline for San Gimignano. Lucy’s family recommended that we went there, and I am so glad that they did as it was a highlight of our Italian experience.
Easily accessible via bus from Siena or Florence, San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city. The bus ride alone was magnificent. Think rolling hills, grapevines and cute cottages tucked away. Walking through the town walls, we went in search of history and gelato. Along the way we stopped to taste locally produced olive oil and wine and sample homemade biscuits and risotto. Sounds like the perfect day, doesn’t it?
I am really glad we decided to spend a few days staying outside of a main town or city in Tuscany. A little peace and quiet was just what we needed! We chose Staggia Senese, a quaint town that is not far from Siena.
This beautiful town has a long history. It was once of strategic importance as it sits in the middle of rivalling towns Siena and Florence. On our last day we paid a visit to the ancient castle of La Rocca di Staggia, built in 990. We had a guided tour of the castle, learnt about the towns history and admired the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. We stayed at La Francigena in a beautiful little apartment that had views of the castle. The three days we spent there were lovely.
When I was little mum would often tell me about how much she loved Siena and would occasionally take out her photos from when she travelled there in her 20s. So you can imagine my excitement about finally going myself. The medieval city of Siena did not disappoint! We spent the day wandering the streets, seeing the beautiful Piazza del Campo, Biblioteca Piccolomini, Basilica di San Francesco and just generally taking in the sights and sounds of Siena.