Mark Twain said: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely…”
We have heard so many things said over the last few months about the problems in Europe and certainly realize there is trouble brewing throughout the world. However, the one thing we have learned from the people we meet on our travels is that a smile and kindness will most often be returned in kind. Our trip to Paris was wonderful and Italy was utterly amazing.
Several years ago while traveling with my son Paul and daughter-in-law Sara we toured the Vatican in Rome and St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice with “Walks of Italy.” Shelli’s article “Hire a Vatican Tour Guide – Totally Worth It,” highlights one of those tours. Through this article, we forged a relationship with Loredana at Walks of Italy, and always hook up with their tours where ever they are available. This year we walked the streets of Paris with this fine tour company before moving on to Florence.
Join me as we enjoy pictures from our Walks of Italy Tuscany Tour “TUSCANY DAY TRIP FROM FLORENCE WITH CHIANTI, SIENA & SAN GIMIGNANO.”
First Stop on our Tuscany Tour: Florence from Piazza Michelangelo
I was amazed at the amount of the original, ancient city walls that can be seen from this vantage point.
The City view is spectacular.
And the view of the Ponte Vecchio Bridge is brilliant.
Second Stop on our Tuscany Tour: Siena
Our arrival in Siena was at the Cathedral of Santa Maria located at the top of this hillside village. One of the conveniences of the tour was beginning in each town at the top and making our way down without ever having to climb back up to get our vehicle.
Cathedral of Santa Maria in Siena
With a lack of guidance many people miss this statue:
Sienas Piazza del Campo
Each year on July 2nd and August 16th the most important event in Siena takes place, the running of the “Palio.” This passionate horse race takes place in the central meeting place of Siena, Piazza del Campo. This link to Discover Tuscany is an interesting site to learn about the race.
Third Stop on our Tuscany Tour: Lunch at Fattoria Sant’Appiano
After a short tour of the wine cellar, we enjoyed a delicious four course lunch served with eight wine tastings. This is in the heart of the Chianti region of Italy and this winery features some very serious wines. This link to their home page will allow you to review the history of this ancient and very famous property.
For a dining experience torn right out of the pages of a fine dining magazine, take a seat in their beautiful cantina.
“For three generations, the Cappelli family has dedicated themselves to the farm with passion and love trying to create a special place, with great respect for tradition and the territory that accommodates them.” Two generations of this fine family spent time visiting with us in the dining room of the cellar.
Fourth Stop on our Tuscany Tour: San Gimignano
After plenty of wine and delicious food, no wine for our fine driver, our Tuscany tour headed for the walled-town of San Gimignano. Try saying that three times – fast.
This little town is wonderful. History, architecture, gelato, towers, and friendly people all combine to make it a town not to miss.
When we arrived and stepped out of the van, we were presented with a story written in the walls of history.
The seeds of the beautiful green plants gracing the historic walls of this town were deposited by birds and insects and grow to provide a harvest of delicious Capers.
This well preserved Tuscan hill town is filled with photographic inspiration from its capered walls to its skyline of medieval towers.
Last Stop on our Tuscany Tour: Along the road for a fading picture of our day with Walks of Italy.
This stop was in the parking lot of one of the cutest little wine tasting rooms in Italy, “Teruzzi and Puthod.” They produce a very coveted bottle of the classic “Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Then it was a picture to remember, our outstanding guide, Claudia, and the best driver in all of Italy, Francesco.
It was a full day, it was a picturesque day, and it was a day packed with education, fun, great companionship and amazing scenery. Thank You “Walks of Italy”!