Under The Sun In Tuscany
Ugh, Tuscany was incredible. As we traversed inland from Cinque Terre we slowly found ourselves immersed in the rolling hills of Tuscany. We stayed in this Airbnb in Chianti (if Tuscany were a US state, Chianti would be a US county) and it was a totally perfect experience. Upon our arrival, we were ready to kick back, relax, and do absolutely nothing. As planned, that ended up being our situation for the following five days. . . this is also why I don't have a ton of photos to show you (but the few I have are worth it).
So our agreed-upon agenda was the following:
Day 1: Do nothing and stay in cute Italian cottage
Day 2: Go Wine Tasting
Day 3: Visit Sienna
Day 4: Visit Florence
Day 5: Do nothing again
The video below was our cottage!
Wine tasting in Tuscany isn't as extravagant and glamorous as we make it out be here in the States. Rather, we would drive down windy streets looking for hand-written signs exclaiming "wine and/or olive oil sold here". You pull up, ring a small bell, and a worker with grape-stained clothes and rough hands walks up and escorts you to their distillery room. If you go wine tasting in Tuscany, it is good form to buy something because you're interrupting hard-working wine makers to show you what they spend their days crafting. Every winery we visited, we purchased a bottle or two. One: because it was always delicious. And two: it was so CHEAP.
Truly, the entire experience was perfection. We chit-chatted with winery owners on how they started their business, how they grow their world-famous Sangiovese grapes, and the difference between oak and metal distilling. We found every host to be incredibly hospitable and eager to share the product of their passion with us.
Can I share something with you? Before this trip I insisted on finding some sort of wine-making class where you mash grapes with your feet. In retrospect, I laugh because I have since learned that traditional method is rarely employed today. Rather, the grapes are churned by large blades in a vat and the juice is siphoned into a barrel. Oh silly, naive Gloria!
FYI - I got my lashes done at Amazing Lash Studio. Major shout out to them because they look so natural and the technician was a pro. I felt like I was in great hands at my appointment. My first full set was $80 and they have several packages on maintenance. Very worth it so go check them out.
As we were having lunch, I wanted to send a message to my grandmother. I knew she'd get a kick out of it, so I'll include you guys too. Fun fact about me: I was named after her! (Love you, G!)
We asked Phillipe, our Airbnb host, where we could find some authentic Italian pizza. He recommended Ristorante Palazzo Pretorio. Their pizza is ranked among the top 25 in Italy. . . and let me tell you, it was delicious!
Matthew and I both appreciate trips with plenty of downtime. . . and lots of countryside. Tuscany provided both. When travelling, I find it extremely satisfying to submerge myself in another culture and understand how people do everyday life. Maybe I'm a bit of a nomadic home-body, but I like it.
Put Tuscany at the top of your list of places to see. If you have one spot to visit in Italy, this is it! You can score yourself an incredible villa with stunning views and catch up on some reading. Or tour the countryside wining and dining on some of the world's most honest and satisfying cuisine. Spend a half-day roaming through Sienna, Tuscany's beautiful medieval throwback. Florence is just an hour drive away from Central Tuscany and the art is well worth the visit.
As we departed along on our journey, I watched the sun crest over the hills and sparkle on the fog gliding through a valley of olive groves. In this moment my heart was full, and I was reassured of my return to this place.