Tuscany Off The Beaten Path
Wall of Pinocchio masks
Wall of Pinocchio masks
Abbey of San Antimo near Montalcino
Off The Beaten Path
Holy light over Crete Senesi (Nov 2010)
More than Campo dei Miracoli Pisa
Besides the Medicis which ruled Pisa after it lost to Florence in 1406, these Tuscan cities share one more thing - the Arno river. While the Arno looks romantic in Florence, it takes on a rather...
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S.Galgano Abbey Siena
Really exists only one sword in the stone, all over the world.
It's S.Galgano's sword.
We find it in Tuscany, between Monticiano (Siena) and Chiusdino, near the wonderful ruins of an impressive Abbey...
See All 63 Off The Beaten Path in Siena
When you are in Pisa for a longer time it might be nice on one of your daytrips to visit the "Ponte della Maddalana" in Borgo a Mozzano.
In the photo you can see the Maddalena's bridge or also...
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Reviews from VirtualTourist Members
Colle di Val d'Elsa
Colle di Val d'Elsa is situated on a half way in between Siena and San Gimignano, just a few kilometres after Monteriggioni. I was rushing to San Gimignano and Volterra since it was early afternoon, planning to go back from there and stay one more night in Siena. Monteriggioni and Val d'Elsa were supppose to be visited the next morning.Sometimes we do change plans unexpectedly as I did it, instead of going back to Siena I wen to Pisa and my plan collapsed.
Villages of Toscana
Is it possible to remember the names of all villages we have been passing by or taking pictures of them from the distance, of course it's not. Toscana is full of beautiful landscapes, enchanting scenes and charming small settlements. In some other occasion of visiting I might be attracted with something else, even if repeating the roads I did before. Picture is moment in time and it depend of our present state of mind.
Panzano is a charming little town situated in the heart of Chianti region. We had chosen it for our temporary home during our summer stay in Tuscany. Being located halfway between Florence and Siena, it was an excellent starting point for different trips in the region, and at the same time it offered peace and quiet far away from crowds. The historic part of the town preserved its medieval character of a borgo (a village built around a castle). The castle is still there, but now it's a private property, so you can only look at it from outside. There is one main street that leads from the town square up to the church of Santa Maria. The church looks picturesque and old, but actually it was completely renovated a hundred years ago.One of the attractions of Panzano is a local butcher's shop. Its owner, Dario Cecchini, is far from being a typical butcher. I would rather call him a propagator...
Devil's Bridge draws Gothic revelries
I didn't know this while I was ON that bridge, although the bats and strange animals painted on the Restaurant across the river seemed a bit strange... but once back home, when I looked up Borgo a Mozzano, I happened on a huge website of Gothics, Halloweeners, stories of sorcerers, witches, wolfmen, ads for all-night drinking and dancing, pyrotechnics, etc. -- all there, on and around the Devil's Bridge. Seems like a yearly event at Halloween. Surprising for Italy, but the website makes sure to point out that there were wild pagan feasts 'round that date in October well before Christian times.The place had appeared very calm to me but on second thought, there was a bit of creepiness to it. It must be something to come here, not on a quiet Thursday morning but on Halloween night, in the middle of explosions of fireworks and witches' dances!I took a picture of the restaurant Il Gecko so I...
Ponte del diavolo (Lucca area)
The Ponte del diavolo is at Borgo a Mozzano, a few minutes drive from Lucca.Recently, I happened to be in Lucca at the same time as my VT Friend Maurizio and we decided to make a day trip to Barga, in the mountainous region called La Garfagnana, north of Lucca. The Devil's Bridge is historic and popular so it was our first stop.This medieval bridge was mentioned in a novel by Giovanni Sercambi (14th cent.) It used to be called Ponte della Maddalena in the 15th cent., when a statue of Saint Magdalen was found at the foot of the bridge.I enjoyed the time spent there, the bridge was lovely and the surroundings were deserted, very quiet. Cross the River Serchio on that great work of engineering and you'll find a café and a place to buy postcards and the like.
PONTEDERA - the VESPA museum
Pontedera is a small town on your way from Pisa to Siena.The most interesting sight for the tourists is a lovely small museum of the Piaggio-company, producing mainly small cars and Vespa-motorscooters.In former times they also built airplanes, trains and even a "flying motorscooter"For more infos and lots of pics, please have a look on my Potedera-page - simply click on the link below !!
Must see famous wine town of Montalcino
Montalcino is a small town in Siena province, situated on a hill covered with olive groves and the famous Brunello vineyards dominating the Asso, Ombrone and Arbia valley.Brunello di Montalcino is a red wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino. Brunello is a local name for Sangiovese in Italian, and is one of the best-known (and expensive) wines of Italy. Montalcino is 42 km from Siena, 110 km from Florence 110 Km, 150km from Pisa 150 Km and 85 km from Arezzo.You should not miss visiting Montalcino town. Not only will you get to see a pretty town on hill, you get to taste and buy the excellent wines at reasonable prices.
Must see Montepulciano town
Montepulciano is one of the most attractive hills towns in Tuscany. It is built on a ridge of Monte Poliziano in the province of Sienna in Tuscany. It is the ancient Etruscan city of Nocera Alfaterna. In the Middle Ages, it was under the control of Florence, but was conquered by Sienna in 1260. The main street of Montepulciano stretches for 11.5 kilometers from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza Grande at the top of the hill. The beautiful church of the Madonna di San Biagio was planned by Antonio da Sangallo (1518-37).Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Wine connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile among Italy's best. Montepulciano is famous for 2 excellent wines (2 of my favorite red wines) i.e. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Rosso di Montepulciano. You must not miss visiting Montepulciano. Not only you get to see the fantastic view of Tuscany from its high ridge, you get...
Corsignano is Way Off the Beaten Path!
I had made reservations in a Bed and Breakfast called "Casa del Chianti" in Corsignano, and Allan and I had a most difficult time finding the place. We finally had to ask some locals for directions. The woman said, "Forget that and stay in our rental; I will take you there just follow me". So, being the adventurpus people that we are, we followed. It was a huge home with four bedrooms, dining room, living room, three bathrooms, and a sunroom as well as a huge balcony and a gigantic patio. It was way out in the country. She was renting it to us for the equivalent of $100.00 per night!! We had to say no because it was too isolated for this late in the afternoon on a Sunday, and we had no food. Plus we already had a reservation.We finally found "Casa del Chianti Bed and Breakfast". We were so glad we had waited because it was just lovely. That evening we had a divine dinner next door. But,...
The Boboli Gardens in Florence
Photos:1. Top: gate in Boboli Gardens Bottom: Typical flowers in Boboli Gardens2. Left: Dee beside gigantic sculpture in Boboli Gardens Right: Statue of wrestlers in Boboli Gardens3. Top: Pegasus and a gigantic tub with lion face in Boboli Gardens Bottom: Sculpture of Father and Son with Large Barrel in Boboli GardensAfter touring the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace), we needed a break. We saw signs that pointed to The Boboli Gardens. Since I simply adore gardens, Allan was a "good sport" and agreed to go.The Boboli Gardens are located behind Palazzo Pitti, between the Belvedere fortress and Porta Romana.I was really pleased that we decided to visit these magnificent Italian gardens. Now these gardens have been around for a long, long time; since the middle of the 16th Century. Besides the trees, shrubs, flowers, and water, there is a delightful artificial grotto that is composed of many...
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Reviews and photos of Tuscany off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Tuscany sightseeing.