Tuscany 2023

In Spring 2023 we took a drive from Warsaw, Poland to Tuscany. Having plenty of time, we broke the trip into 500 km bites and spent nights in Brno, Czech Republic and in Italy in Udine on the border of Austria and then down to our first accommodation in Pitigliano. We stayed in a lovely small family run ‘Locanda’ named Panatello (Agriturismo/Inn) 

https://www.pantanello.it/index.php/casale-2/for about a week and used that as our base of travel throughout this section of Tuscany. From there we spent a week further north just south of Siena (where we have been in the past) in a town called Villa Sant’ Alberto. It was a wonderful restored farm with approximately six apartments each with a patio and kitchen. You will notice a picture of this with verdant green bushes which happened to be Rosemary. Not only did it look terrific but it smelled great. http://www.villasantalberto.it/

Most of this part of Tuscany is filled with hilltop towns and villages each more interesting than the next. All are hundreds of years old and many are scantily occupied. Without tourist trade no doubt they would be dead. Generally, in many of the sparsely populated villages there are no young people to be found as many have moved to larger cities in search of higher education and employment. 

Food & People– well, great. The people all over were friendly, good sense of humor and accommodating – could not be better. The food - Pasta with Truffles, Wild Boar Ragu, Pizza (with truffles as well) of course, pasta with lobster, white ragu and many more local delicacies. The salami, olives, cheeses and Parma hams of course were consumed in volume along with Tuscan red wines.

There were many highlights such as Montepulciano, a medieval hilltop town surrounded by vineyards, well known for its Vino Nobile red wines.

Near to our first accommodation was Pitigliano, a town in the province of Grosse. Undoubtedly one of the most curious looking walled towns in Tuscany, it is set in the verdant countryside of the Maremma, halfway between Florence and Rometo, located about 80 kilometers south-east of the city of Grosseto built into tuff. Tuff is a type of stone that is ubiquitous in the area and most buildings and city structures are carved from it.

Pienza. The central Piazza Pio II is framed by 15th-century buildings like the Pienza Cathedral and Piccolomini Palace.

Montalcino is a hill town located to the west of Pienza, close to the Crete Senesi in Val d'Orcia. It is famous for Brunello di Montalcino and is also famous for its sweet white wine, Moscadello.

One of the most interesting and engaging hilltop villages is Civita di Bagnoregio.  It is accessed via a pedestrian bridge from the nearby ticket office in Bagnoregio village. The Porta Santa Maria gateway was built by the Etruscans. Founded in the 7th century, the Romanesque San Donato Church sits in the main square. The village was called ‘the dying city’ as the majority of residents left for more accessible places – it is high on a steep sided hill. The mayor ‘saved’ the city by raising money to construct a pedestrian bridge which one can use by paying a small fee. A very worthwhile visit. Very interesting history - interesting reading:   

So many other villages and towns such as: Orvieto, Sorano, Sovana, etc. Others you can see here during another trip we made down to the Chianti region a few years ago

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