Tuscany has long been a dream of mine and an area that my aunt and I both wanted to visit. The rolling hills, the rustic food, the small town life…it just all sounds like an amazing escape for people who need a break from the hustles and bustles of the metropolitan life.
With the help of our friendly tour guide, we were able to experience all the iconic and postcard sceneries of Tuscany. Driving through all the different towns and villages is definitely the best way to experience the region.
Pienza is definitely my favorite town that we’ve driven through. It’s so incredibly quaint and small; everyone knows everyone. It is also famous for pecorino di pienza, the sheep cheese. There are cheese shops everyone, so definitely stop in on one and have a tasting!
We chose to stay at Montepulciano which was a great town filled with many wine cellars, and famous for the local wine, Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. For some reason though, the wines here were just so high in tannin and acidity that I couldn’t take it. But I guess it makes sense, to go with the local Tuscan food, which is generally meat-focused. I wasn’t too big of a fan of the wine, but the cellars are definitely a must visit!
We also stayed at a place called Il Riccio, which is an amazing bed and breakfast, and one that, I believe, has the best view!
The temple di S. Borgio is their local church, famous for its copper dome thats made by a local craftsman. This craftsman also made the dome on top of Il Duomo in Firenze. He has a cool workshop in the town, but everything is so expensive. A small pot, the size of perhaps your palm, costs 180 euros!!
A great place to dine near the temple is the restaurant La Grotta. The place has a super nice atmosphere with a small outdoor garden. I highly recommend getting their lamb dish as your secondi. It is one of the best we’ve both ever had!
La Moraia is an agriturismo. An agriturismo is a place that includes agricultural activity as well as a place to live for visitors. There are actually a lot of those in Tuscany, with most agricultural activity being focused on wine. We visited this local winery for lunch and found it irresistibly beautiful, and the food, divine. Lunch per person was 25 euros, with unlimited wine tasting. Their pasta specialty is pici with pecorino cheese and some black pepper. It was so freaking delicious I couldn’t believe what I was eating. The chef came out to greet us and told us that it was just pasta and cheese, and a teensy bit of cream. Oh my goodness…I wonder what would happen if I tried making it myself.
San Gimignano is a walled medieval town in the Siena province. The town itself is great for walking around, with only one main street, so you definitely won’t get lost. It is also home to an award winning gelato! The gelato is currently at Milan’s Expo. Definitely not to miss! The place has a lot of flavors that I have never heard of, such as saffron cream, and blackberry lavender. This is a must try, so go ahead and line up behind that long cue 🙂
Meuble Il Riccio – bed and breakfast at Montepulciano
Ristorante La Grotta – restaurant in Montepulciano
La Moraia – winery