Everyone wants to drive through Tuscany.
Besides the wine and the food, Tuscany is famous for it’s rolling, sun-drenched hills potmarked with a kaledioscope of nature’s colors. Villas and medieval towns survey the landscape from their perches on hilltops. Roads wind through little towns, churches, and farms with histories dating back thousands of years. And narrow roads wind through the terrain, hairpin turns opening up to magnificent vistas in between little towns kilometers apart.
You’ll probably stop a hundred times to enjoy the view, take long lunch breaks at unnamed restaurants on city squares, and get lost a couple times navigating the terrain, but that’s part of the fun. Right or left, you can’t go wrong.
Couple reflections from Tuscany:
- Drive. But not in Florence. Avoid driving in Florence at all costs. Or else you’ll do what I did, and in the process renact a scene from a movie driving little European cars through tiny pedestrian squares at high speeds yelling at people to jump out of the way while being chased. Except at exceedinly slow speeds, nudging tourists burdened with shopping bags trying to decide where to go.
- We stayed at Borgo Argenina outside Gaiole in Chianti. Read the reviews: it’s not for everybody, but if it’s for you, you’ll love the experience. Don’t stay less than two days or she’ll collapse from grief that you won’t be there long enough to enjoy the area properly.
- Montepulciano, Siena, Montalcino, Pienza, San Gimignano, Radda in Chianti, … everybody has their favorite towns, and will tell you that you simply must go there. My favorite town was my favorite town because of the unique experiences we had there, because we caught the light just right that day after the storm, because we got the perfect table at the restaurant on the square that we found by taking a wrong turn, because we heard the monks Gregorian chant for 30 minutes. My reason will be different than yours, and that’s what makes travel unique.
- As I said about Rome, don’t worry about seeing every basilica, church, and historical monument. New culture is fun too.