Remember that trip to Tuscany I took that one time? Yes, the one last year… Well [more of] the posts are coming! We returned home one year ago this week, so why not celebrate by letting the posts I wrote see the light of day?
Many of the photos were taken by Mr. Misadventures and you can find his full Tuscany portfolio (and many other spots we have traveled to) on his site, Sel & Poivre Photography.
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We didn't spend every day in Florence, although I could have done a food tour every day! Instead, we used it as a home base to explore the Tuscan countryside. As usual, Mr. Misadventures had plenty of photo spots scoped out and I just enjoyed the ride. We left Florence one morning to take a very long side trip to Siena.
The trip between Florence and Siena is 90 minutes on the highway. Siena was our ultimate destination for the afternoon, as we were joining a Context Travel tour. We didn’t plan on taking the highway so our trip between the two cities took six hours.
Six hours of views like this:
We eventually began winding our way into the hills of the Chianti region where beautiful vineyards lined the slopes.
We arrived in the little [tiny] town of Volpaia and walked around the Castello di Volpaia winery a bit just ogling the grounds!
We stopped into the Bioenoteca Volpaia store and tasted some of their organic wines around lunchtime and then decided to stop at a little cantina next door called Bar Ucci run by Mama Paola.
Paola didn't speak a word of English but there is an international language when it comes to the love of good food!
We sat outside and ordered a Caprese salad which was delicious – to me, that dish is the epitome of simple Tuscan food. Nothing fancy about it, just extremely fresh ingredients, and no sauces to hide behind, the ingredients speak for themselves.
I had lasagna, simply made, and delicious.
I had hesitated between that and boar stew, but as we were eating outside under the sun, I thought it would be too heavy, although lasagna is not exactly light! When I saw a man behind Mr. Misadventures being served stew, I had total food envy and I am [obviously] still thinking about it!
After saying goodbye to Paola, we continued on our way, direction Siena and taking in more of the amazing Tuscany. To say this area is breathtaking is an understatement; everywhere you look is a perfect painting.
It was our first taste of Italy outside a major city, but it will definitely not be our last. We loved the countryside and Tuscany so much we are considering walking part of the 1200-year-old pilgrim path, called Via Francigena Toscana, it is an absolutely remarkable way to see Italy! There is another area of Italy that I am dying to visit and in particular hike through. I have friends that have been hiking in Cinque Terre and they all rave about it! It seems that wherever you travel to in Italy there is plenty to see once you get out of town!
How about you? Have you ever been to the Tuscan countryside? If not, is it on your bucket list?
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