The secret places in Tuscany
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To say what is the most beautiful place in Italy is just an impossible task. The more you find, the more you fall in love.
If the appetite really comes with the eating itself, then in this case the charm comes with the journey. Beyond the well-known, world-famous destinations like Milan, Venice and Florence, not even mentioning Rome – a city that should not be compared to any other place in the world, Italy has many treasures lurking in every corner.
When it comes to La vita e bella, the first place that emerges in my mind is Tuscany. The hills, the little streets that lie on them, the vineyards, the medieval towns, the stone villas … it all exists! It’s real and much more beautiful than the Google photos. Tuscany is magic, timelessness and bliss that embodies one of my favorite Italian words – benessere. It means wealth – the spirit, the body and the senses, and my “contribution” to the translation is also the ability to enjoy the bliss of life. The Italians have turned it into art, industry and lifestyle. It’s not a concept that can give meaning to your life (although there are many exceptions), but it may be a very serious motivation to escape from the reality. Here are my top recommendations for Tuscany:
Or else, rural tourism in Italian. The most complete way to feel the spirit of the region is to rent a villa (or part of it) somewhere outside the big cities. You can do it through Booking, Airbnb or directly through some of the sites that offer this type of accommodation (www.agriturismo.it/en/). Prices are even more affordable than the hotels’ and the quality is higher. You will be pampered with home-made meals, you will drink homemade wine from the region and you will wonder why the time has stopped in the Middle Ages. The houses are old but renovated, the ceilings are at least 3 meters high, and there are often frescoes, the windows are narrow and long, with the obligatory shutters that barely miss the light. The best thing about agriturismo is that you feel really at home, you can speak with the owners of the villas and learn stories that you can’t hear anywhere.
The little towns
The real Italy is there. The sense of timelessness and perfect idyll is constantly in the air. You can see smiling people who walk up and down the streets, everything is tidy, simple, in style, nothing unnecessary, everything Italian. The towns are surrounded by fortified walls, the houses are made of stone, the flowers are everywhere, shops and restaurants will try to attract your attention and invite you to taste sausages, cheese and wine. Siena, Montepulchiano, Montichiello, Bagno Vignoni, Volterra, Monteriggioni – places that have preserved the unique spirit and traditions without overflowing with tourists. In some of them you can find just 3-4 restaurants and just as many shops. In Bagnio, you can enjoy your Aperol Spritz on the square, which is actually … a 16th-century mineral pool.
This is the time when the hills in southern Tuscany are so soft, green and perfect that the eyes just cannot fit the view. The winding narrow roads, surrounded by tall cypress trees, that connect the main road with the scattered villas, are a landmark for photographers around the world who stop to capture the breathtaking view. In fact, Tuscany is fascinating in every season – summer is mild and gently warm. Since most villas have their own pool, the evenings around it are cool and romantic. Autumn is another story – the busiest month for the region is September, when it’s the grape harvest. The tasting of Chianti, San Giovese and Vin Santo in any given cellar is a must.
Writing about how delicious the food is and what you should try is cliché, so we will miss that part. Just discover your Tuscany, indulge yourself and enjoy all of its seasons, secrets and spells.