I have planned at home holiday because of weddings so many times, but planning a holiday elsewhere because of an international reunion wedding, that is pretty much what I call advancement in life. I’ve heard many times that Tuscany was best to be visit in fall. Cheesy enough we fell for it. The whole itinerary is based on Tuscany and our Umbria special are the days we got to spend there because of the wedding.
DAY 1 – AIRPORT – GROSSETO – CAMPAGNATICO – MONTALCINO
Everything seemed soo smooth till the point of hearing the sentence: “No we cannot give you the car”. Well plans have never changed quicker than that, next we know we are on a bus to Rome, Termini station, smashing thick tasty focaccia at the Mercato Centralle, and holding one way train ticket to Grosseto. Were we considering the town? No. But often your trip has other plans for you. Checking out all possible timetables, and websites, it seemed that the first bus to Campagnatico (16km far) was on Monday, and hello Saturday morning.
The eat and the middle of nowhere were not helping the situation, and especially not when we called our villa and asked:
How we can reach them?
By car. (as an obvious answer)
But we don’t have one.
After an overpriced ice-cream on the empty streets of Grosetto, our landlord comes in the cutest mint green Fiat. An Argentinian Italian, with the best music collection, and the sentence that fixed everything was: “We can rent you our car until you sort it out till Monday.” Do this kind of people really still exist? Fortunately, YES! And they couldn’t arrive in better moment.
We arrived in the beautiful dreamy yard of Alma Toscana, wine and home made olives were already on the table. This was the vacation we were dreaming of. The night was falling and we arrived in Montalcino, it was not high priority on the to-do, but it was the closest, and I was happier to be there, than anywhere else. All the houses were made out of stone, with beautiful flower pots in the front. The restaurants were full of chatty Italians, and by full I mean so full, that we had to sit inside and enjoy our first Italian dinner. At the end the day was a total win.
DAY 2 – CAMPAGNATICO – PUNTA ALA BEACH – SAN GIMIGNANO – SIENNA
Our first morning was reserved for the beach, we knew we wanted to go to Punta Ala, and our host gave us the recommendation of House Civinini, a self-service bistro with delicious sea food. Then we walked some good kilometers along the beach, greeted by home decor resellers. Knowing that we are not the only on activity per day, and especially not a beach only, we decided to continue to San Gimignano. It was the furthest from where we were , so we decided to “eliminate” it first. And it was soo soo nice, even though full of people, like in no other of the small towns. Nougat, and Pistachio Gelato from Dondoli and sun-gazing on the viewpoint terraces, no other wishes, thanks! Few more rounds around the narrow streets and we are on the way to Sienna. I was not prepared for this beauty, all the people were enjoying the night on the city square with a drink, and a lot of them from the restaurants. We decided for La prosciutteria, I guess the only chain that I approve. Pardon, that I so much approve. Happy and full, and a bit late, blame it on google maps, we are back in our Tuscan soul paradise.
DAY 3 – CAMPAGNATICO – GROSSETO – PORTO SANTO STEFANO – TERME DI SATURNIA – MANCIANO
Our third day started with the friendly people at Europcar Grosseto. Every 3 seconds we were hearing “Allora”. And we got a navy Fiat Panda. Yuhuuu. Our new car had its promotion in Porto Santo Stefano. Stop for Illy coffee and home-made ice-creme as a snack, we visited every open food store and were indulging ourselves with mainly grapes. Decisions here were happening spontaneously, especially now when we got own car. So our next stop were Terme di Saturnia, but we decided to stop for a short swim in one of the long empty beaches close to Porto Santo Stefano, and had much fun. The Terme were as well worth the visit, even though the fact that there were so many people at the point did not ruin their beauty. On our way to the Terme we spotted two little cities, that were not on our radar before, and on our way back we decided to stop in Manciano. Speaking of which now it was maybe one of our favorite spots. First, we stopped at the market for fresh burrata, and then continued to get lost in the tiny streets, which were so uphill that I was amazed how the inhabitants are riding cars here. And the town had such an amazing fortress terrace, that was giving exclusive view on the sunset.
DAY 4 – LORNANO – CHIANTI – MONTE FIORALLE – FLORENCE
Checkout time from Almatoscana, next stop was Chianti, I think the most famous town from the ones that we visited. It is famous for it red sort of wine Chianti, and on 2 km walking was Montefioralle, super cute place consisting of one circle of houses, probably smallest by size on the map, but taking most space on our memory cards, every corner was worth striking the capturing button.
We had good time and baked goods in Chianti, followed by stroll around the main square, and we were on the way to Florence. Pleasant drive until you reach the point where you enter the city. Even though we chose an accommodation outside the city, at least for me the finish was a hell of a ride. (proveri accomodation) That is why we decided to take the public transport in order to see Florence. The view from our accommodation to the city was majestic, arriving in the city shocking. Everything I’ve previously said about people and crowds can be forgotten. This was another level of crowd and jam. Nevertheless, Florence is beautiful, especially outside its main attractions, towards the smaller piazzas, full of people sipping wine. After checking out everything that we were interested in, we stopped for the most interesting thing, five types of prosciutto and tuscan red wine. It ass our first date of the. trip. The topic of our date was which sort of prosciutto was the best, and in which order. I simply love days with problems like this.
DAY 5 – ROME – SPOLETO
After the delicious breakfast and home made jam, we were on our way to Rome.
Here we picked our friends and turned the tourist mode on. We stopped in front of every single tourist spot. We had around 5 hours for that, but as always seeing a long time no see friend is more magical than any city, even the eternal. Chitchats and camera clicks and we are on the way to Spoleto. For the event of the year.
3 regions in one day, beat that. Was night ride and only one stop for refreshments since the rest of the crew told us that nothing works in Spoleto at this time. Our Airbnb was amazing, seeing all the international family, priceless, lots of stories and even more laughing, we were excited for the next day.
DAY 6 – SPOLETO – EGGI
We were attending an Irish-Australian wedding, of our friends that we got to know in Finland. Spoleto is so small, that during the day we saw the grooms crew several times. All pampered we were ready to enter the cathedral, when a movie set blockage appeared in front of the duomo. At first we were only 6 people waiting, then our number started growing, until the moment when the father of the groom decided to cut filming and enter the duomo. We followed of course. All the guests were so pretty, for me real feel was royal wedding, the ceremony perfect, and next thing we are in front of a beautiful fountain sipping Aperol, while waiting to be picked up and brought to Eggi. Super tiny village with few villas, but the whole set up, just caused another royal wedding moment.
DAY 7 – EGGI
The day after was reserved for finishing the leftovers, or having hangover cure brunch. Funny enough, some of the traditions were similar as on many other weddings on the Balkan, like a whole pig as a main attraction, and immediately brings cosy feeling in the heart, knowing that we are all the same, even though we were all scattered around the globe.
It was so good, having at least one more week like this would have been better, but this whole experience was too good to be truth.
DAY 8 – ROME
Our last Italian day was reserved for Rome, Chiampini ice-creem, Trastevere and Campo di Fiori, and a quick re-tour to Termini station to end the trip as we started it with a super thick focaccia at Mercato Centrale.
And to end it in a proper way I would shamelessly repeat my statement from above: It was so good, having at least one more week like this would have been better, but this whole experience was too good to be truth.