Why I love Tuscany (and why you will too)

When I think of Tuscany I cannot help but smile. It is such an idyllic place to holiday and I fell in love with it last year when we took the kids for a week for our Summer adventures. Rich in breathtaking views, stunning coastlines, quaint little streets, Iconic architecture and Cities you want to wander all day and get lost in – I couldn’t imagine a more culturally rich and splendid place to escape to! It is relaxing and yet so invigorating to all of your senses. It offers delicious foods, great weather, and I could quite happily return again and again!

When we visited last year, we stayed in a small village outside of Pisa known as Buti. Surrounded by olive groves and nestled in the mountains, it was the perfect spot to overlook impressive landscapes and yet be in easy reach of all that Tuscany has to offer. We enjoyed watching the sun set on an evening, listening to the crickets and seeing pomegranates, limes and olives growing in their natural environment. We watched the locals farm, ate plenty of pasta and dipped breads in oil. A short 10 minute walk, wandering up the hill we discovered a local 14th century church filled with stories and oozing with local history and culture. We loved everything about our stay as it was super dreamy, but next time I would love to stay in another part of Tuscany – perhaps with a pool, maybe coastal but charming and quiet all the same. To Tuscany have some enchanting and beautiful places to stay throughout Tuscany, that to look at would be the icing on the cake for a beautiful Tuscan trip!

So, if you too would like to escape to such a magnificent part of the world this Summer (or in a another season), then let me share with you our favourite places that invite you to really experience the well-preserved culture of Tuscany. Visit for the day or stay in and around any of them and you will not be disappointed – your heart will be full and I expect your bellies also!

Florence

Florence has always been a hotspot for artists, being home to so many famous masterpieces and oozing with Renaissance art and architecture. Whilst not my favourite Tuscan City, I still loved the day we spent there as it was both beautiful and impressive. The Cathedral was more incredible than I expected, with all of its grandeur and intricate sculpting and paintings. And I loved seeing the City squares, bridges and “posh shops.

Whilst not an artist I could appreciate what it has to offer it;s visitors and the amazing history that has been preserved. If you don’t mind spending to see things then you will really have an opportunity to get up close to famous arts and sculptures. Either way you can’t not visit and you can’t not be blown away by the many beautiful buildings and statues that line it’s streets.

If you choose to visit in September, you may have the opportunity to see their annual lantern festival, which sounds brilliant!

Pisa

Pisa is a fantastic little City that I simply loved exploring – so much so we had a couple of days there. The obvious attractions of Pisa are the iconic leaning tower, Pisa Cathedral and Piazza dei Miracoli. We decided not to go in the tower on this occasion as with 3 kids in tow it seemed risky, but we did go in the Cathedral. The Cathedral is free and most certainly worth a visit and setting aside time to explore. There was a little wait (obviously – it’s free and Pisa!) but I loved the scenes of the bible carved into the huge metal doors as we entered and the whole beauty of the building. The ceiling was breathtaking and we all (from oldest to almost youngest) enjoyed wandering around it.

When I first stepped foot in to the square where these famous landmarks are located, I had one of those moments of complete awe and it being such a surreal experience – I couldn’t believe i was actually there! We spent a little while exploring and snapping all of the “must take” pictures (who doesn’t want a snapshot of them holding up the leaning tower?) and it was such a joyful hour or 2! But for me Pisa was far more – Yes I loved all of that side of it, how could I not? But for me Pisa really captured my heart.

I loved wandering its little streets, crossing huge stone bridges over the river and strolling through its parks. I liked that around every corner there were new and equally charming sights to see (including buildings and a statue of Garibaldi) and we had some of the best Gelato here too! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing horses pulling carriages, little fountains and beautiful colourful buildings. Not far away from the City centre are lovely beaches and parks, but the City itself has so wonderful I simply enjoyed strolling round and feeling it’s spirit!

Yes Pisa truly is a splendid city.

Lake Bilancio

Beautiful, clear, turquoise warm waters; Lake Bilancio is a lovely spot to go for the day for water sports, and shopping at the local outlet. It is a man made lake not far from Florence and is a great place to see a different, less historic (but equally enriching) view of Tuscany. We enjoyed paddling and soaking up the outdoors, and of course the drive to and from was such a pleasurable experience also.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is quite possibly one my favourites in Tuscany and yet as we visited late at night, I have no decent images to show you (google it). It is a well preserved part of the coastline and is made up of quaint little fishing villages lined with colorful houses that cling to steep mountain sides. We wandered through Vernazza late one night and swam in the harbour whilst inhaling the rich smells of garlic and muscles – In that very moment my heart felt happy and full and we agreed we would return by train and spend at least a day and a night there to soak up more of its charm and beauty. I wanted to sit for hours on that harbour wall, admiring the little boats and dipping my toes in the med, it really is one of the most beautiful places I have been to! It is a spectacular part of Tuscany and all 5 little villages are worth exploring and will truly capture your heart!

Tuscany is an incredibly beautiful part of the world – The food, the coast line, the cities and views – there is more than enough to fill your schedule for a week or even 2! I can’t wait to return; this time to hopefully catch a glimpse of the miles of sunflower fields or beautiful Poppy fields, to visit Volterra and see where Twilight was filmed and immerse myself in the beauty of Vernazza once more!

Tuscany is a great place for couples, kids, best friends and lonesome travellers alike. Wander it’s streets, admire it’s views, fill up on its delights, and I dare you not to fall in love!

This post is written as an entry to a blogger competition hosted by To Tuscany. I have not been compensated for it and it is not sponsored. All images and thoughts are my own, and I am keeping my fingers and toes firmly crossed that I might have the opportunity to return to Tuscany with them and Mr Smith! 

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