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Five Days with Toscana


Don’t tell my wife. I’m in love with another. She is natural beauty, with dizzying curves that are hard to miss. Her knowledge on the subjects of art and culture have made her very influential and she maintains incredible collections at the Uffizi and Pitti Palace. I’m not the first to love her, other great men such as Dante, Botticelli, MichelangeloLeonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Amerigo Vespucci, and Puccini have been inspired by her as well. She is an amazing chef and vintner, world-famous for her Chianti and Brunello di Montalcin0. But, oh how I love her full flavored Pecorino cheese, olive oil, and pesto. I’d be happy living in her relaxing, sun-drenched splendor for the rest of my days.

Her name is Toscana.

The five days I just shared with her were some of the best in my memory and I’ve attempted to share those experiences through words and photos each day. I already miss her and can’t wait to visit her again in the near future. Our relationship still has room for more exploring and I want/need to get to know her much better.

Tuscany Day 1: 178 Tunnels to Pisa

Tuscany Italy

After weeks of planning and anticipation, we hit the road to Tuscany on our first overnight road trip since moving to France. We were on the road shortly after 4pm, with our destination set for Pisa- only 390km away. Our goal was to arrive in Pisa before sunset so that we could see the city in the light of the day and enjoy dinner at a decent time. It’s still quite fascinating to me, amazing really, that we are only 390km, or 4 hours by car, from such an amazing and historically significant city… read the full post


Tuscany Day 2: Pisa to San Galgano

Tuscany Italy

Twelve hours after arriving in Pisa, we were up and enjoying our second day in Tuscany, fresh-brewed Italian cappuccino’s in hand. Fear not fellow American’s who rely on the consistency factor of Starbucks, if you order a cappuccino in Italy, you get a cappuccino. In France, not so much. After enjoying an Italian style buffet breakfast at the AC Hotel, complete with salami and cheese, we were off to see historic Pisa in the daylight. We quickly realized how special the night before had been, with the tower all alone, as the morning brought crowds of tourists. Parking was much harder to find and getting a view or a photo of the Leaning Tower without another tourist in it was not possible. But the sun was shining and this is Italy… read the full post

Tuscany Day 3: Val d’Orcia- Montalcino, San Quirico d’Orcia, and Pienza

Tuscany Italy

Our third day in Tuscany began with an amazing sunrise from the top level master bedroom of our villa. Opening the windows wide we could lean out and hear the quiet, and feel the crisp morning air. While looking out the open windows, I felt connected to another time and place. One thousand years ago this same window was used as a look-out to spot invaders or enemies on their approach. Something about Villa Collina makes you feel like a kid in a castle–you can’t say that about most places you stay… read the full post

Tuscany Day 4: Chianti

Tuscany Italy

Another day, another enchanted morning at Villa Collina. This morning I drank my espresso sitting in front of the Il Campanile chapel as I watched the sun climb out of the valley below. Our day in Val d’Orcia was amazing, but tiring, so we decided to take it easy at Villa Collina before venturing out to Chianti. One of the difficulties of staying at such an incredible place is that you are constantly torn between the desire to stay and enjoy the villa and surroundings vs. exploring greater Tuscany. Today, we opted for a balance of both… read the full post

Tuscany Day 5: Siena

Tuscany Italy

Our last full day in Tuscany and there is no doubt that we want to spend more time here. We’ve covered a lot of ground but there is still so much we could do. Today our focus is on Siena, but as discussed in an earlier post we are being pulled toward spending more time at Villa Collina as well. Just being at Il Campanile has been an experience in itself, worth missing some of Tuscany’s more popular attractions…read the full post

Villa Collina by Inspirato: Our Own Italian Borgo

Villa Collina Italy

Villa Collina by Inspirato is like no place I’ve ever stayed. Working in the travel industry, I have been fortunate to spend time at some of the top luxury hotels and resorts in the world, but nothing is quite like the experience at Villa Collina. It’s not just another luxury lodging property or resort, but an unforgettable, historic experience… read the full post

23 Tips (and growing) for Visiting Tuscany

A growing list of our tips for enjoying Tuscany.

Tuscany, Italy: Flickr Photogallery

Tuscany Photogallery