As I’ve mentioned on Twitter and briefly here, The Boy and I flew to Pisa for a week of exploring Tuscany. The sunshine, the picturesque countryside, the amazing food, the charming towns that feel like living museums, the countless gelato flavours, the excellent wine, it was all immensely enjoyable and I think I have a new crush.
We stayed in a sleepy little village up in the hills west of Florence; it more than made up for the inconvenience of being out of the way with incredible views of the surrounding countryside. Yes, it is just rolling hills of olive groves and vineyards with farmhouses and tiny, torpid villages sprinkled here and there. Our long walks from village to village made me wish I wasn’t useless with a paint brush, or that I could at least write a nice little poem. (Incidentally, in the village we were staying was what is probably my favourite restaurant in the world, where the owner’s mama cooks properly mouth-watering, traditional Tuscan dishes and he will often bring little home-made treats like rigatino to the table).
I was, naturally, armed with an extensive to-do list which included many, many visits to museums and art galleries and churches, most of them in Florence and Sienna. They are of course excellent, hosting some iconic art like Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. In fact, you could spend days upon days just in the Uffizi gallery in Florence. However, what I very quickly discovered was that just walking around in this great cities feels like being in a museum. Since we were only there for a few days, it felt almost wrong to stay inside a gallery when we could wander the streets, seeing and hearing and smelling the real city, taking in the stunning medieval architecture (and of course eating gelato). So in the end, we managed to find a balance, we visited a few of the major museums but made sure to leave time to get a feel of the place and maybe a glimpse of the life of its residents.
Have you ever visited Tuscany? What did you like the most?