Tuscany: A trip to the most beautiful part of Italy
Area Tuscany It is always our choice for a perfect Italian experience for the eye, palate and heart, which includes the vibrant Florence, rural hills on a hilltop surrounded by vineyards, culture, excellent food (or as we call it – embracing carbohydrates) and fine wine. On days like theirs, the city is visited by 4 million tourists a year so the Corona is actually an opportunity to visit it and the area in less busy time.We have compiled the ultimate – and non-banal – list for a trip to the area: a short checklist for must-see sites, recommendations for places that are not in any guide but not to be missed, 3 meals that justify the caloric balance, 2 open-hearted wineries with a view of postcard and palate pleasure, town One surrounded by walls with ice cream that is considered one of the best in the world and as usual in holiness – a luxury spa hotel in the heart of vineyards that you will not forget long after you return to Israel.

The trip begins in Florence. To get there it is advisable to fly to Rome, rent a car at the airport and continue to it. The trip takes about 3 hours. Another option is to fly to Milan and from there arrive by car to Florence on a slightly longer journey. Another option – to get to one of these two cities and take a train to Florence. El Al offers scheduled direct flights to Rome starting at $ 227 and to Milan at $ 201 (excluding luggage and seating). If you do not mind flying low cost, you can find even cheaper flights with Rainier for example. So you packed alone? We take off!

A visit to the capital of Tuscany – Florence

Florence has it all – it is beautiful, located on the banks of the Arno River (Arno), With extraordinary cultural richness and even bearing the title – the city where the Renaissance began. She has a respectable ex-list of greats of the period like Michelangelo, Dante and Machiavelli and as befits her status, in Rehavia you will find some of the greatest works of all time like the statue of David and the birth of Venus.

Mark V on the must-see sites in Florence

The “must-see sites” in the city are of course the Duomo, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Which is the symbol of the city. It is one of the largest cathedrals in the world (its construction lasted about 150 years) and the most beautiful in terms of architecture and design. It’s located in the city center and literally – even if you want to, you can not miss it. The second site is Bridge and cue, Which connects the two banks of the Arno River, on which houses are built which actually continue the city. This is definitely a perfect place for selfies but there is no justification for much beyond that.

Even if you want to, you can not miss it. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence | Photo: Imagebank / Thinkstock
Punta Bridge and Cue Florence (Photo: Pani Garmyder, shutterstock)
The Vecchio Bridge connects the two banks of the Arno River | Photo: Pani Garmyder, shutterstock

Take a picture and move on to the next site – Uffizi Gallery – The most famous museum of the city and one of the most famous in the world, housed in an impressive structure in itself. Even if you are not a big museum lover, it is worth taking a tour and taking a peek at the birth of Venus (based on the mythological story that Venus was born from an encounter between the severed testicles of the god Uranus, which symbolized the sky and sea). When you leave the museum, go throughPalazzo Vecchio The beautiful one, which is nearby and we marked V on it as well. We will close the list of must-see sites with a statue of David standing at the city’s art academy.

The hidden corners of Florence

After marking V for everything “necessary”, we recommend you some lesser known gems in the city that we think are worth visiting no less:

While most tourists arrive at Michelangelo Square for a view of Florence, it is better to continue climbing for a few more minutes and arrive To the basilica San Miniato al Monte And the cemetery Of the Holy Doors – They are very beautiful in themselves, the view from them is better, there are fewer people and the observation will accelerate your pulse more than the climb itself.

Bardini Gardens – Although these are less famous than the Boboli Gardens in Piti Palace, they have a special charm – they are a magical place to sit for a picnic with wine, cheese and fresh bread from one of the delicacies and give some rest to your feet from the city walks.

Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy – The oldest pharmacy in the world which is still active. In the past, monks used to make medicines and today the place is used to brew luxury beauty products in the techniques of the old world. Beyond the chic (literally) chic from the place, the building itself is also stunning and well worth a visit.

What to eat in Florence?

We are not those who like to rate restaurants, but some would argue that you will find the most delicious food in the city at Trattoria Mario The old and neighborhood, where you will share a table with other diners in the most local atmosphere and flavors that can be.

Another place that is also one of the simplest but most sought after places in the city is All’Antico Vinaio, Which started as a modest wine bar with a small sandwich stand, and became a pilgrimage hotspot next to the Uffizi Gallery, with a queue accordingly. The place specializes in equal sandwiches with Tuscan focaccia (thinner than usual) and a selection of meats, cheeses, sauces.

If you are in the carnivorous creek we recommend you Buca Lapi Which is an authentic Tuscan institution of local meats and dishes. A little more expensive than the previous options but definitely worth it.

Tuscany

Tuscany is one of the most beautiful and romantic rural areas in the world: driving on its winding roads will reveal you green spaces, paths leading to small and large estates and wineries on top of a hill, pastoral towns, vineyards and olive groves. Take a few days to exhaust the region and especially to taste all the good it has to offer, and especially the Chianti and Brunello di Montalciano wines that have made them a world name.

A vineyard in Tuscany (Photo: Two Flying Boys)
One of the most rural and romantic areas in the world | צילום:
Two Flying Boys

Allow yourself to get lost and stop by “just” a winery you passed, and get into an explanation and wine tasting straight from the barrel (and snack nearby). If you are a beginner wine lover or just interested in the field, we recommend that you dedicate a few hours to a crash course at one of the wine schools in Florence.

While wandering around the area we still recommend stopping in town (which has one of the best ice creams in the world), at two wineries in the Montalciano area that we particularly liked – one large and one small – and for dessert before returning home – to spend a night at a particularly worthwhile spa hotel:

San Gimignano – Medieval flavored with vanilla, saffron and pine nuts

San Gimignano It is a walled town from the Middle Ages located on a hill with high preserved towers. The town is surrounded by wheat fields and vineyards and beyond the beautiful view you see from it, it has a beautiful old town and in the pedestrian zone in the center of which there are cafes, hotels, boutique shops, galleries and delicacies. Gelateria Dondoli Which is found in it, is considered one of the best in the world with unusual flavors like vanilla, saffron and pine nuts or pink grapefruit and sparkling wine. We tasted and did not fall, but still pampered yourself after the climb.

San Gimiano Tuscany (Photo: Two Flying Boys)
The ice cream here is considered one of the best in the world. San Gimiano in Tuscany | צילום:
Two Flying Boys

Wineries

The wine industry in Tuscany is one of the oldest and most respected in the world. We spent 5 whole days wandering the area, tasting wines and eating pasta alternately. Two of the wineries we liked more were actually in the Montalciano area (known for its Brunello wine): Ciacci Piccolomini The family, sitting on an estate inherited by the father of the family from the Duchess for whom he ran the place. Since then the family has dominated many acres of vineyards, producing acclaimed and award-winning wines. The winery is located in a stunning mansion and you can take a tour of the wine cellar and taste a selection of wines.

Tuscany Ciacci Piccolomini Winery (Photo: Two Flying Boys)
Acclaimed and award-winning wines. Ciacci Piccolomini Winery | צילום:
Two Flying Boys

 

A small and authentic winery that we really liked is the Coconut Located on a family farm run by four brothers and producing fine wines, olive oil and even offering simple rooms for the night and a caravan park for fans of the genre. We arrived at the place in the afternoon of a beautiful sunny day And “opened for us a table” of wines and pastas in the pastoral fields of the farm, which provided us with some of the most beautiful moments on this trip.

il cocco Tuscany Meal and wine tasting at the winery (Photo: Two Flying Boys)
Open a table in front of pastoral fields. Il Cocco Winery | צילום:
Two Flying Boys

Before returning to Israel – Spa Hotel

The last day of a trip abroad always sucks: feel like the fun is in full swing, we just got into the right state of mind and here we are at the end. Tip from us – do not settle for the end of the trip, and last night take a hotel like this that even if you leave your room early, it has a pool or spa where you can spend pampering and battery-filled last hours. In Tuscany, we chose Castello di Velona Resort, Thermal Spa & Winery.

Tuscany Hotel Castello di Valuna (Photo: Two Flying Boys)
Sits it on natural springs used for a large outdoor pool. Hotel Castello di Volona | צילום:
Two Flying Boys

This spa hotel is built in a historic fortress (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), on a hilltop with a spectacular Tuscan view. Staying at the hotel definitely feels like living in a castle, and the design combines old and new which we think needs improvement. Two compensators: the crazy view from the rooms, especially if you took a room with a private patio and opened one of the bottles of wine you bought on a sunset trip. The other is the hotel’s spa. It turns out the hotel sits on natural springs Beyond that the spa offers a jacuzzi, a panoramic sauna, a Turkish bath, a cold waterfall and showers that flicker with colorful lights that someone decided to call “emotional showers” (and for some reason no one fired him for that).
Prices – high but we made a reservation in the afternoon of the night of the stay and the price dropped significantly. Try.

By Editor