Thursday, October 17, 2013

Travel :: Under the Tuscan Sun

Whenever I go on a long trip friends always ask me what my favorite place I visited was.  Sometimes it is an easy choice {Paris} but most times it is an impossible question to answer.  I believe that every new place, new person, new experience offers you something to enrich your life.  Not every area you visit will be the most beautiful you have ever seen, but if you look hard enough you will be able to find what makes it special and unique.  That being said, I most certainly cannot pick a favorite place from our recent trip to Italy because I loved each area {Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Venice, & Florence} for different reasons.  However, in regards to my favorite days...this one is definitely up there with being one of the best of my life.

We spent six days exploring Tuscany with a car {an experience that was at the top of my bucket list}, starting south near Chiusi then slowing working our way north until we hit Florence.  I heard the Val d'Orcia region offers what some argue is the most picturesque countrysides in the world, so we decided to spend a full day simply getting lost on the country roads.  The weather was perfect, warm and breezy, and every turn we took seemed to be more beautiful than the last.  With Ryan at the wheel and me navigating in the passenger seat we whizzed through Tuscany with the windows open, stereo blasting, camera in hand, and smiles plastered across our faces.

Freshly plowed fields of golden brown soil contrasted with the rolling green vineyards and the bright blue sky.  Farmhouses and villas lay in the distance surrounded by land, land, and more land.  Roads were lined with cypress trees that made me feel as though I had stepped into Wonderland.  In the distance we could see ancient hill towns perched high above the country, both beautiful and unsettling at the same time {many were surrounded by large stone walls to protect from the many invaders during the violent Middle Ages}.  

We stopped at the Abbey of Sant'Antimo for a picnic lunch.  The former benedictine monastery {over 1,200 years old} was nestled in a valley surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, dancing cypress trees, and ancient farmhouses speckled throughout the land.  We picked up three types of Pecorino cheese from Pienza {more about that later}, some fruit, and a bit of bread and sat in the grass marveling at the deliciousness of our food and the beauty of our surroundings.  It was truly one of those days where your senses are heightened to their maximum capacity, one of those days you know has imprinted itself in your soul, one of those days you know will stay with you forever.


  1. Dang, I missed Tuscany while there too! And I've always loved the movie, Under The Tuscan Sun ;)

  2. Molly {Dreams in HD}October 23, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    thanks TJ :)

  3. Molly {Dreams in HD}October 23, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    me too shannon! there is so much beauty in italy it's impossible to see it all in one trip :) i still have so many places i am dying to visit.