When we speak of Tuscany we think of the world famous art cities, wines, and breathtaking beauty that has made it synonymous with the BEST of Italy. It is indeed a place of unique beauty, but many of the top spots are, in fact, not on the tourist guides. I realize the importance of both the well-known places and those off-the-beaten-path, so see the best of both worlds with the Magic Tuscany Experience.
Your first two days will be spent visiting famous wine routes, visiting an excellent vineyard and cellar, Medieval towns famous for their wines, and, of course, we cannot leave out wine shops. Here you can taste famous wines in a relaxed Italian atmosphere. Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci enchant all of your senses; from panoramic hills to the blue of the Mediterranean Sea, you will experience the idyllic Italian countryside in many ways. You will be able to stay on a farm, in a B&B, or a hotel--all are traditional to our area and designed true to Tuscan traditions. A helicopter ride to view the lovely hills, farms, and seaside resort areas is available on request. There is never a boring moment for there is so much to do and see.
There are many leaning towers, but none rivals the Leaning Tower of Pisa. A visit to this amazing and breathtaking place called Piazza dei Miracoli–the “Miracle Square"-to see its wonderful Cathedral and Baptisterium is a must. But Pisa is not just the Leaning Tower, so we'll stroll along its history-filled roads and squares, visit one of the oldest Universities of Europe and the famous/infamous tower prison of Count Ugolino who, so the tale goes, ate his two sons who were imprisoned with him to survive. Next, on to Livorno, which reputedly has the most beautiful waterfront and seaside terrace of Tuscany. A break for lunch in this city for fish lovers is an experience not to be forgotten. The waterfront is lined with mostly Liberty style houses which are the pride and joy of its people; Livorno is indeed a city which is loved by its own residents, so this stop will allow you to experience the easy-going dolce vita of the Italian lifestyle.
No rush, no running. Today we will enjoy the old, as in Etruscan and Medieval, and the new, as in cuisine and beach. After breakfast, enjoy the beauty of blue skies and sea, and visit Populonia, a medieval town that overlooks one of the most exquisite spots on the Italian coast – the Baratti Gulf. Populonia is one of the most important Etruscan Towns, therefore pre-Roman. It's very small, though perfectly mainted. It offers visitors a variety of shops, from art to clothing, restaurants and wine shops to visit, and stops to buy original hand-crafted goods. It is unique for its position and beauty. A stop at the beach on a hot summer day is perfect before lunch--enjoy a swim and soak up the sun. Lunch doesn’t have to be formal, there are a variety of take-away options to tempt your palate. In the afternoon a visit to the Etruscan Necropolis is not only a look into the past, but a glimpse of an extinct human species and their love for beauty and harmony with their environment.
Not only the David of Michelangelo is admired, there is a square filled with such artistic beauty and perfection that we find it difficult to choose which to look at first. Florence is, for the art lovers, the unique experience what Unesco considers to be the best in world art. There are Italian style Renaissance gardens to be admired, beautiful roads leading to even more surprising squares, fantastic architecture but also pleasures of discovering little coffee shops filled with great atmosphere, tasting handmade ice-cream from the shop which first produced the famous Italian ice cream as we know it today, if you have a sweet tooth Florence is ready to surprise you with so many typical desserts. I would suggest that a 2 day stop in Florence is necessary to be able to see some of the many things this wonderful city has to offer and I would include a visit to the Uffizi Museum for the true art lover.
Moving south we bask in the sceneries of green and the multi colors of the sands of Siena, the lovely Chianti hills covered in gold and greens, lined with Cypress trees and perfectly clustered country homes. A trip that fills your soul and your senses with timeless beauty. Ready to believe in magic, Merlin and King Arthur? At Montesiepe there is a little chapel which let’s your imagination succumb to their time, is it true? I will leave it to you to decide……. And you will have time to do it while we drive through the soft hills of the Chianti to Siena. Sleep overnight. Walking around the lovely old city of Siena, land of the Palio but with so many other things to offer the their guest visitors. Time for an aperitif at sunset in Piazza del Campo, a square different from all others in the country. Overnight in Siena.
Remaining on the magical side – walk the streets of “Twilight”, see an artisan working the alabaster, for the strong at heart visit the Torture Museum where objects from the Inquisition are kept but Volterra is much more than just magic and torture. Roman theaters, a beautiful and well maintained pre-Roman town immersed in the countryside. Embark on a gastronomic experience of Tuscan best salumi and wines.
American artist Niki de Saint Phalle, decided to live in Italy and more precise in Tuscany but most of all wanted to leave this country with something so unique that she produced a masterpiece. This garden, embellished with mosaics, is her life story and my tribute to this amazing woman is to allow you to admire her labor of love. I wish to make it present that this garden has very specific periods and times of visits and is not on tourist guides so if you should wish to include it in your itinerary please be advised that I have to book with anticipation.
After the beauty of mosaics we move to the beauty of nature once again to visit a really privileged part of our territory – the Argentario or as an alternative our lovely Medieval towns, many which were film settings both for local and Hollywood film Directors . Argentario is the place chosen by many people, local and foreigners, to spend their summer vacations whilst the other choice of the Medieval towns, even though crowded continue to be very pleasant to visit.
Time to relax, to laugh, to love and all this at Elba Island. One hour by ferry boat away from the main land and you find yourself in another world of crystal clear waters and a permanent holiday atmosphere. Visits the house where Napolean lived in exile, a wonderful aquarium with Mediterranean species including the Med shark, local perfume factories, beautiful seaside towns all round the island and meals of exquisite traditional Elban cuisine. Elba is also famous for it’s Vin Santo and schiaccia dolce (sweet pizza type dessert). I recommend a 4 day stay on the island having free time for enjoying the beaches.
I am fortunate to be a citizen of the world because I have lived in 3 of the 5 continents of the planet - Africa, America and Europe. I love travelling the challenge of new places and new people, enjoy good food and wine.Living surrounded by vineyards I know where to try our best wines as well as farms where to learn the art of making wine. Our cellars have been called wine cathedrals and you will never know why if you haven't visited one - an experience not to be missed at least once in a lifetime. Living in Italy has shown me what the meaning of the Dolce Vita lifestyle really means, anything is possible from spending your nights in a hostel or a fantastic Italian Villa, visiting islands which for decades were were prisons and yet of such beauty to leave amazed, natural island parks and bays which can be discovered only by boat - it's all there and I would love to show visitors to Italy why this country attracts millions of people each year. Tuscany is a place that keeps surprising, this land between soft hills, cypresses and the Mediterranean holds so much beauty that every time you take a walk or a ride down a new road you are bound to find something beautiful to admire and make a memory. In Florence where to eat the best gelato (ice cream) or Siena where to have a great tea. Rome is another one of my passions, the Eternal City has been for centuries the place that enchants and amazes but not only for its art but for the extreme beauty of the architecture. If you are as curious as I am there are places with thrilling and secret stories where your imagination makes Dan Browns books come alive, the mystery of the catacombs and then there is the relaxing way of passing time enjoying a drink or an ice cream on a sidewalk, shopping in its famous fashion streets, in the evening taking an old tram listening to music and having a glass of wine while it travels around the famous landscapes allowing you to feast your eyes on one of the worlds most amazing cities. When people think of Rome they think of long walks around the famous sites but I know of exciting new ways of seeing the city that will make sightseeing just that little bit more exciting and did you know you can see Rome from a Hot Air Balloon - so very amazing. Sicily, the land of many contrasts and influences, of unique panoramas and welcoming people, a pleasure that fills your senses at each step, look, taste and sip. This magic island has everything to make us want to return and if there is "mal d'Africa" (the sense of loss when you are away from Africa" then for me there is also the "mal di Sicily" for nowhere else in the world have I experienced the joy of breathing as I do in this timeless island. I would love to show visitors to Italy our wonderful art cities and their well known sites but also the less known sites which mostly get forgotten in the travel guides and therefore go unseen and not visited and the romantic spots of this country which make lifetime memories Contact me. Full profile ⋅ Leave a Review
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