The River Arno in Florence, Italy
Chris here. We have landed in Calabria after spending a whirlwind week with friends in Tuscany.
Our first stop was Florence which is probably my favorite city in all of Italy. Granted there are way too many beautiful cities to count but Florence has a special magic and the biggest and best collection of renaissance art anywhere.
When we travel to Florence we stay in the Oltrarno district which is the district on the other side of the Arno River from the historical center.
The Oltrarno is where Florentines live and work so it is a refreshing change from the shops and restaurants which are focused on tourists. The Oltrarno is filled with restaurant, delis, wine bars and shops that are less pricey and just plain good.
Our Air BNB apartment was a lovely and comfy one bedroom on the third floor. We had a nice balcony overlooking a beautiful garden behind us and no street noise. All told we paid close to $100 per night. It was equipped with a kitchen so we took advantage of the beautiful and fresh produce there and made dinner one night.
Pasta on the balcony
Home made sausage, tomato and zucchini pasta.
Happily our friends were planning a trip at the exact time we were planning one. They had rented a massive farmhouse/villa close to Montepulciano and invited us to stay a few days. We readily agreed and as a result were able to see a couple of beautiful hill towns we would have missed.
Tiny street in Montepulciano
Tuscan hillside with Pienza in the distance
After spending a day in Montepulciano, we were convinced by our friends to extend our stay for another day and we visited Pienza. Pienza which, if you screw up your eyes and squint a bit you can just make out on the ridge in the previous photo, is small but very beautiful and worth the visit. The story behind this little town is fascinating and a study of the human condition.
Another full length blog post will follow on Pienza but for now, enjoy the pictures.
Piccolomini Gardens Pienza
The loggia of the Piccolomini Palace, Pienza
Montepulciano, a photographer’s paradise.
Both Pienza and Montepulciano are a must for photography buffs. Around every corner is a spectacular view and the light changes quickly creating a completely different image than the one you just captured a second ago.
But if you are searching out the land of a zillion photographs, Southern Italy is the place to come.
First there is the food…
Southern Italian seafood
Then there is the scenery…
Fishing boat in Maratea
Stunning view in Maratea
Then there are the people
Giacomo and Roseangela at Al Caminetto, Tortora
Everything anyone could want in travel is to be found in Italy.
Hopefully I have whetted your appetite for all things Italian. I hope to see you here soon.
Stay tuned for more in depth blog posts on the areas we have been visiting as well as some video posts on Matera, Italy as we will be there in a couple of days.
Until later! Ciao for now!