|Tuscany is gorgeous.
You must rent a car to fully be able to travel and
appreciate this area.
BUT park outside of all towns and hike in.
Roads suddenly turn into cobblestone alleys,
make a wrong turn and you are on a staircase
(really!). It was our most challenging driving
experience in Europe.
Get there and get a good driving map.
It is hard to do Tuscany justice on a webpage.
We visited 13 different towns and villages
Our home base was an amazing bed and
breakfast in Montepulciano. Don't miss this one.
The hill towns of Tuscany are romantic and fun.
There is so much to see....but take time to people
watch, attend a musical (most churches have
them in the summer)and eat a lot of gelato.
|Above: View from inner courtyard
Right: Gio, our host, provides us with
maps and information
Far Right: View from the children's room
home of Pius II and the
Piccolomini family for five
Worth a quick visit. Get the
The perfect little Tuscan
village...in fact, the movie
Under the Tuscan Sun
was filmed here.
We shopped for
decorated with sunflowers
|We find a pastry shop
We love meringues.
This Tuscan hill town is sprinkled with
14 medieval towers (basically fortified
homes of noble families)
The towers are picturesque...the town
is fun to explore.
|For good pizza and local wine
Try Locanda di Sant' Agostino
right across from the church
We found lots of fun things
to see here.
Under the local trash dump
they discovers ancient
Roman ruins which can be
seen from the town walls
Don't miss the Alabaster
and the Etruscan Museum
and follow Rick Steve's
We arrived early evening and enjoyed a
We did not get to any of Siena's
sights...but the grand piazza is an event
The largest we have seen; filled with
people and ringed by open air restuarants.
|Day One in Tuscany
We rented a car in Florence (our only car
rental of the three week trip) and drove into
the Tuscany area.
Our first stop was Montepulciano to see find
our hotel and check in.
With helpful advice from Gio, our B&B host,
off we went on a long day of exploring.
We stopped in Pienza and visited the local
palazzo and ate a quick picnic.
We drove out to a wonderful old abbey and
found a cute deserted town with ancient
Roman baths and water mills.
We finished the evening with a visit to
Montalcino and a wonderful dinner.
|Day Two in Tuscany
We left early and drove to Cortona, a perfect Tuscan village; in fact
where the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" was filmed.
We visited San Gimignano with its ancient medieval towers.
Then on to Volterra for shopping, a quick look at the Roman
amphitheater and its alabaster workshops.
We ended the evening in Siena on the grand piazza for dinner.
|Day Three in Tuscany
Again, we left early to begin our day trip, enjoying the olive trees,
grapes and sunflowers that fill the countryside
Our destination was Assisi which is a pilgrimage site
We returned to our home base, Montelpulciano to really spend a full
afternoon exploring this wonderful Tuscan town
Hometown of St. Francis,
Assisi is a great town to
explore. Follow Rick
Steves' walking tour as
outlined in his book to see
all the major sights.
We happened to arrive at
the Basilica during a
Spanish teen pilgrimage
and watched in wonder as
the crowds grew in both
size and exuberance.
Realizing that we had sadly
neglected enjoying our home
base of Montepulciano...we
decided to spend the afternoon
and evening in our hometown.
In the evening, there was a
wonderful music festival
from an English orchestra and
choir...literally feet from our bed
|They don't call them Hill
Towns for nothing.
|Right in the corner of the
main square is a great little
Everything was wonderful
and we got to hear the
concert in the background
|Don't miss Contucci Cantina
for wine tasting
Adamo will enthusiatically
guide you through the 13th
century basement of the
palace that serves as the
|Tuscany is filled with
and olive trees.
But look at our view
We bought our sandwiches
and cheese at a little deli off
the town square.
Try the pork sandwiches
|Date Visited -- 2007
|The best Tuscan Bed & Breakfast
Mueble il Riccio
In 1080, it was a noble family's home. Then
converted into a seminary in the
In 1949 it was the Italian School for
Given it's illustrious past, it is no wonder
it is now lovingly maintained and a
private Bed and Breakfast
Your hosts Ivana and Gio will be friendly
and helpful beyond your imagination.
It is the perfect place to stay.