Toscana

In Italia, On The Road, Travel by adminLeave a Comment

Fom Milan to Genova it was first little bit boring road because the valley of river Po is not so interesting area for driving. But closer to Genova started THE Road. Certainly wonderful feeling to drive. Motorway with a lot of curves, hills, great landscape generally, warm sunshine. But I think it was one of the most expensive what comes to road toll payments. Around 10€ / 100km.
But we did not visit Genoa this time. There were several places with spectacular view to Mediterranean see, or should I say more exactly Ligurian see as that part is named so.

And we did not go even to Portofino though it is one of must places to visit. It´s about timetable sometimes. We needed to reach our accommodation in time. Anyway, we wanted to stop at Marina di Massa – Forte dei Marmi area. Famous holiday resort. I was surprised that the parking fee was remarkable lower than back home in Riga. 0,75€/h.
Here is not so easy to find a free part of beach. Almost whole beach was occupied by restaurants´s “private” area. It´s ok if you are willing to stay longer and enjoy some meals and drinks. But this time it was not our goal.
We noticed that the asphalt and sand both are burning hot to walk.
This stop was great to do after few hours of driving. Breathing mediterranean air, enjoy the light wind and hot sunshine. This could be a good place to spend a week or two.
And what is the best, here are mountains too, not far from the beach.
One thing why I liked this area. It was more genuine and not so artificial sterile tourist trap like so many resorts nowadays.

But time can´t stop. We needed to check the road to San Miniato. Already now we have learned not to obey and trust Google Maps so carefully. It directs sometimes relatively crazy ways and choices. Asks to turn left and soon you will notice you are back where you started and need to go in a different direction. Google Maps is a good assistant but a very bad master. But a useful tool anyway. Quite up-to-date. Now our destination is agriturismo Bellavista in San Miniato, not far from Firenze.

Arrived on time. Almost easy to find. Warm welcome, and a cozy apartment with all the needed facilities. Swimming pool, something that the youngest of us was already waiting for. Next few days we will spend here. Also the Midsummer Eve – at least in Finland and Latvia it´s a remarkable event.
This is Tuscany (Toscana). When watching the landscape I can feel how my heart is like melting honey.
One afternoon we went to search for a local shop. Driving through the San Miniato village. So incredible narrow roads, up and downhills, invisible turns. I told to my wife that at least one thing I know, this road will be only one way for us, back to Bellavista we will go by some alternative roads.

Our carrier, Alfa Romeo 159 Ti

One of the places where we want to visit is Vinci. One Leonardo was born there. That one Leonardo was called just Leonardo from Vinci – Leonardo da Vinci. The place where he was born is a little bit outside of the village of Vinci. After a smaller road on top of a hill. I must admit he had a home with a view. The wonderful landscape around there. Unfortunately, RAI is filming and it´s not possible to visit inside the house.

Casa Natale di Leonardo da Vinci

Because it´s not far away we also need to go to Firenze. The capital city of the Tuscany region. Firenze was a remarkable center of medieval trade and finance. And it´s said that Firenze was a birthplace of Renaissance. Firenze attracts millions of tourists every year. Tourism is the most important industry in Firenze. From spring to late summer the number of tourists is bigger than own population of town. There are world-famous galleries like Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti. Many famous churches like Santa Maria del Fiore. Many bridges crossing the River Arno. Maybe the best know is Ponte Vecchio “Old Bridge” with all those bazar styled shops.
Firenze was established by Julius Caesar around 59 BC. It was one of the wealthiest cities in medieval years. Did you know that Fiorentine bankers financed Kings of Britain during the Hundred Years War?

Firenze is also ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And it has an important role in Italian fashion. Firenze is among the top fashion capitals in a world.
For the fans of Italian football, I cannot forget to mention that Firenze is home of the football team Fiorentina.
Well, Firenze is also a topic of a long story but for now, this was in brief.

View from Piazzale Michelangelo… and piece of football, of course

After spending our time in Firenze we decided to take a road back home via Siena. I will not add here any photos of Siena because it was so full crowded with tourists that the whole feeling was not perfect. But as a tip, I can say if you want to have nice photos from there, buy them from shop 🙂 os just go to walk around early in morning.
But let´s just forget Siena this time. We were driving along the regional road SR222 in Chianti. The famous area of vineyards and producers. That was certainly the heart of Toscana. And believe me, all those small villages were full of life. Amazing, indeed.

After Toscana region our next destination will be Lago di Garda – Garda lake, see you there

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