Medieval Tuscan Highlights – Siena and San Gimignano

Siena's Piazza del Campo

Two of central Tuscany's most popular visits are to Siena and San Gimignano. Both are walled cities with unique landmarks including San Gimignano's towers and Siena's striped cathedral and famous town square. Both are also cities that peaked during the middle ages and which eventually came under Florentine control during the Renaissance.

While we could easily spend more than a day in each city, especially Siena, we dropped in on San Gimignano in the morning and went onto...

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Pienza and the Val d’Orcia – Perfect Symmetry to Amazing Scenery

Pienza and its city walls

There is good reason that central Tuscany is on most travel bucket lists - it's almost a perfect combination of history, culture, food and scenery. Pienza, noted to be the "ideal" renaissance city, is not as well visited as Florence or Siena but I think is worth a trip especially to spend time roaming and driving through the surrounding Val d'Orcia which contain so many iconic Tuscan scenes.

I was here last year in May and unfortunately my trip coincided with a long weekend in...

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Florence’s Vasari Corridor – Avoiding Crowds the Medici Way

Florence had been one of my favourite cities in Europe for its great art, history and of course, shopping, but it is getting impossible to roam around these days without encountering crowds of tourists. This does make having a pleasant trip more challenging so I highly recommend that visitors who want to visit the museums and other historical sites to do so with a guide. I arranged a private tour to visit the Vasari Corridor, a secret Medici passageway while in Florence last year and it...

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Central Tuscany – Montalcino and Wine Tasting

Montalcino

There is a lot of good wine in Tuscany and I had a memorable visit to Carpineto winery this past April. The Montalcino and Montepulciano areas are home to the Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile Montepulciano, red wines that have gained prominence over the past decade. While a prior trip last year included visits to Brunello specialists Casanova di Neri and Poggio di Sotto, a visit to a large producer like Carpineto gave us a chance to try the winery's broader region products including a...

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Southwestern Tuscany – A Day of Wine, Pasta and Wall Views

Magliano sun set

Southwestern Tuscany, namely the province of Grosseto in the Maremma area,  is not as well visited as the rest of the region but I was out here in April to pay a visit to a winery and found some great food and views along the way. This was our fist stop in a wine tour of Italy, and the highlights here include a visit to the Mantellassi winery, the walled cities of Pitigliano and Magliano and the best tortello of our trip.

We stayed at the Borgo Magliano which I imagine would be filled...

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