Tuscany didn’t take long to completely capture our hearts! After our first impressions which you can read all about in part 1 of our Tuscany trip, it just kept on getting better. I honestly don’t think you can beat the rolling landscapes and honey coloured stone towns sitting atop vine covered mountains! We alternated between having lazy days at the hotel and heading out to explore the region. Here are some of our favourite places, along with our second hotel stay.
On our first full day we decided to explore the local town of San Gimignano. It is very popular and for good reason – it is beautiful! The world being a very small place, thanks to Instagram old family friends got in touch to say they were also in the area, and within 15 minutes of them messaging we were sitting in a coffee shop enjoying a drink together! I love it when things like that happen.
The weather wasn’t great for our first visit and I didn’t manage to get very good pictures, so we came back to San Gimignano on our last day in this part of Tuscany for a little wander and a spot of lunch.
Road trip to Saturnia and Montalcino
You know how it goes some times – you see a place on Instagram and just have to go there? No? Only me? Well, I saw an incredible picture of this otherworldly place about a week before our trip and realised it was in Tuscany. Of course, I needed to see if for myself! It was also a good opportunity to see a lot of the region and we headed out for a day trip in the car.
The place was called Saturnia – a natural hot spring that has created the most incredible landscape. It was a good few hours drive away so we set an alarm and set off to explore. It took us a lot longer to get anywhere in Tuscany than it should have mainly because we kept taking it in turns to shout:
LOOK AT THAT! STOP THE CAR!!
I don’t think my pictures even come close to capturing the beauty of it all.
We pulled up to Saturnia and joined the hordes of people who had the same idea as us! It was an incredible experience, slightly marred because of the crowds though. If you want to visit, I recommend getting there eeeaarly! It is free, so no wonder it is so popular, and really where else can you see this and bath in water naturally as hot as a bath?!
From there we took the winding roads over to Montalcino which is a beautiful hilltop village renowned for its wine. I must admit, the roads and the long time in the car had taken it’s toll on me by now and I was feeling very car sick. We had a walk around and a gelato and decided to make our way back home by the straightest route possible! It is somewhere I would happily go back to again to explore more of though.
After four gorgeous days in Borgo Pignano, we packed up our bags and headed to our second hotel stay which was a little closer to Florence.
Villa Le Calvane
Again, I didn’t tell Will where we were going but popped the details in to the Satnav and off we headed. It didn’t take too long to arrive at the gorgeous Villa Le Calvane, and once again Will was delighted with it – I am so grateful for BookitBecki’s help in finding the perfect places to stay!
The property is very old but has undergone a complete transformation and is now a very elegant, very refined hotel with a relaxed vibe. It is a great honeymoon hotel, and funnily enough by chance a work colleague of mine was visiting the very hotel for his honeymoon only days after us.
The weather turned in our favour during our time there so we spent much of it lazing by the pool, drinking wine and generally eating too much!
We were treated to a number of spectacular sunsets that stopped us in our tracks.
On the recommendation of the hotel, on our last full day we visited a little town called Certaldo. It was a Friday when we visited and there were very few, if any tourists there and it gave us the feeling of what it would be like to live in Tuscany.
We took the furnicular up the hill to the old town and were greeted by one of the most gorgeous, quaint towns we had seen. We wandered around, stopping for photos by the little Fiat 500 naturally, had a coffee, wandered, stopped for lunch. All the usual Italian holiday activities!
We ate lunch at a restaurant called Ristorante L’Antica Fonte which I would recommend. The pasta was the best I had eaten all trip.
And so the end of a fabulous trip. I cannot wait to find out where Will is going to take me next year….but I have almost 12 months to wait until I know!
Have you ever booked or been on a surprise trip?