Yes, that’s right, I was in Tuscany last week enjoying the first holiday I’ve had in a couple of years and the first we’ve had as a family for more than three years.
Tuscany is a very beautiful part of Italy, full of breathtaking scenery, interesting, historic buildings and incredible landmarks. One week was no where near enough time to experience what was on offer.
We arrived late at night, causing our villa owner to have to leave his bed to let us into our villa. It was an old Tuscan farm house, full of lovely old Italian furniture and was set in a rural area on a hill with fabulous views all around us.
We all like to swim so we spent a lot of time in the pool cooling down as the temperature was hotter than we’re used too!
On the Monday we went into Lucca our nearest town for breakfast. Lucca is a lovely old walled town, with narrow streets and open town squares. We ate out side a small cafe in the shadow of large marble fronted church, Duomo di San Martino.
After a brief look around Lucca we headed north to visit the Grotta del Vento which is a large cave that runs deep into the mountain side. It was fascinating, the stalactites and stalagmites that had formed from water flowing through the rock where unbelievable. They hung in ribbons from the roof of the cave and grew up from the cave floor. The water that had gathered in pools along the cave floor was crystal clear and apparently after heavy storms it can flood in places.
On Tuesday we decided to visit the beach, but the one we had been advised to go to was mostly privately owned with only small strips of ‘open to the public’ areas. These areas were so crowded it was difficult to see the sand!
We all wanted to visit Florence, so we got up early on Wednesday morning and caught the train. We weren’t disappointed! Florence is such an beautiful city, you really need a whole week to begin to take it all in. We would have loved to look around some of the many museums and cathedrals, but with only a day we decided to just walk around and soak up the incredible sights.
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or The Duomo as it’s ordinarily called was just stunning! The pictures I’d seen of it before going just didn’t do it justice at all. The queues to go inside were massive, so as we wished to see as much as possible we just walked around the outside and gazed up at it in awe. We all desperately want to go back and spend a lot more time in this wonderful city.
Piza was only a forty minute drive from where we were staying, so on Thursday we went to see the famous leaning tower. This too was more incredible in real life. We didn’t go up the tower, but we did go into the cathedral which was breathtaking.
I have to say it has been one of our very best holidays and we were all sad to leave Italy behind and return to wet old uk!