Tuscany, Italy

I’ve just got back from 2 weeks holidaying in beautiful Tuscany, Italy! Here I thought I would share a little bit about my holiday and travels with some (or quite a few!) of my favourite pictures.

The last two weeks have been absolute bliss for me, I LOVE everything about Italy, it’s one of my top travel destinations- not only for the amazing food, but also the stunning scenery and cities. I’ve come home, with my case packed-full of delicious culinary treats (too many packets of pan di stelle- those biscotto are TOO addictive!!) and some kitchen untensil’s ready to get back to baking and sharing some amazing recipes for you all. So enjoy my photos guys- I’ve decided to take you through all the places we visited whilst on holiday!

You’re going to fall in LOVE with Italy and this beautiful region!

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Firenze (Florence) 

Florence is one of Italy’s most beautiful and stunning cities. Full of artwork, cathedrals, history and amazing food, it’s a city not to be missed on your Tuscan adventure.

firenze

italy flag

Italian flag flying high above the Arno river 

 panini

Panino is one of my favourite foods to enjoy in Italy. I eat these all the time for lunch back at home- they’re so good especially filled with spicy and salty salami or some of the famous Porchetta (pronounced por’ketta). But I also love my panino filled with the best fresh, Italian mozzarella, sliced tomato and dried origano. So good to eat whilst enjoying the sights of Florence!

produce florence

The most amazing and colourful fresh fruit and vegetables on street corners 

florence pomodoro

cat picture

Siena

Siena, another one of the my favourite places to visit. We enjoyed some of the best Pizza we’d ever eaten whilst sitting in the famous Piazza del campo (square)- one of Europe’s greatest Medieval square’s. Though Florence supposedly makes the ‘best’ gelato in Tuscany, I thought the ice-creams we tried in Siena were very good competition- definitely worth the price! Full again of lots beautiful historic buildings- this city is another tourist paradise.

siena duomo

Siena Duomo (Cathedral)

siena

fresh fruit stall siena

pizza siena

siena gelato

(Not the best looking ice-cream, but strawberry (fragola) and chocolate is one of the best combo’s!)

Pisa 

We visited Pisa for my 18th birthday. I enjoyed a great day, packed full of sightseeing and happily devoured an amazingly good margherita pizza, which was HEAVEN! Though the weather wasn’t too great that day, the fact I got to eat pizza made up for that for sure! The evening was enjoyed back at our private villa with many glasses of proscecco!

leaning tower of pisa

pisa pics

Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square)

pizza in pisa

As you can tell we ate quite a bit of pizza on this holiday! In this photo, me and my Sister ate classic Margherita, Mum enjoyed Marinara and my Dad ordered proscuitto e funghi. All were divine- but I couldn’t manage the whole thing! 

becky pizza

Becky enjoying her Pizza!

Also, if you have room for ice-cream, do visit De’Colelli for amazing gelato!

San Gimignano 

We stayed just outside of the medieval town, San Gimignano. The town is lovely and idyllic and is home to one of the world’s best ice-cream shops, Gelateria Dondoli– of which we enjoyed our fair share (probably a little too many ice-creams per trip!). I definitely preferred the smaller towns, to the the more well-known or more visited cities, there was something about wandering off the beaten track or down quiet little streets that I love.

san gimi black n white

san gimi st lucia

View of San Gimigiano from St Lucia 

san gimi night sky

san gimi

The famous towers in San Gimignano 

pizza san gimi

gelato

Gelato from Gelateria Dondoli (the gelato world champion)- my favourite flavours cioccolato and pistachio 

pinachio

pottery in san gimi

leather bags

Volterra 

A beautiful windy, hilltop town, well worth a visit if you’re in Tuscany. Explore wandering off to the many quiet streets. Best known for it’s alabaster (marble) and also the famous Twilight films (and of course Assassin’s Creed!!).

volterra streets

volterra

Palazzo del Priori

volterra

volterra tower

ampit volterra

o

The coolest photo ever!

tiptree jam

I found a little taste of home in Volterra!

 

Monteriggioni  

A small, but pretty Medieval walled town. Views overlooking Siena and great place to indulge in some interesting history. Definitely worth a look!

monte pic

monteg

Piazza Roma 

sunflower fields

Beautiful sunflower fields on the car journey home 

Chianti (Radda & Castellina)

We visited these two small, quaint towns which lie within the famous Chianti region of Tuscany. I definitely recommend you visit the medieval town of Radda, the town itself is so quiet and peaceful, not your typical ‘touristy’ town, so perfect to walk around and get lost in your thoughts. Walking further through the narrow streets,  you will come across the amazingly stunning and peaceful Church of San Niccolò. The church is famous for it’s Romanesque origins and wooden crucifix from the 15th century. Also, I found lots of amazing pastas and foods whilst walking through Castellina- which reignited my passion for cooking again.

 church chianti

Church of San Niccolò, Radda, Chianti

chianti shops

chianti food

risotto

Risotto ai funghi is a Tuscan classic 

pasta

Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (garlic, oil and chilli flakes) seasonings. These are great tossed into fresh pasta for a filling dinner!

flowers chianti

chianti art

Inspiring artwork in Castellina 

chianti 

Colle di Val d’Elsa 

This is the town we visited quite a lot and spent many evenings walking through the peaceful streets, completely away from the tourist trails. It was so beautiful, many amazing viewpoints and you actually get the chance to go down a lift and walk through the underground tunnels, then treat yourself to a gelato, sit by the fountain and watch the sun set. So cool and a perfect end to the day.

colle val di elsa streets

colle val d'elsa pics

colle di val d'elsa

Also, I like to thank the lovely Margherita who writes one of my favourite food blogs, La Petite Casserole. Margherita is from Florence, but currently lives in Montreal. She very kindly sent me an email sharing with me all the best places to eat in and around Tuscany, which I thought I would share with you all too as well.

Gelato: Rivareno ( borgo albizi)
Easy lunch: Macelleria Falorni ( avevo di San pierino)
Easy lunch or easy dinner: 5&5 ( piazza della Passera)
Mercato di San Lorenzo ( they’ve just renewed it, is full of small restaurants and local food productors)
For an aperitivo: Easy Living ( the open bar along Arno river, close to San Niccolo)
Dinner with amazing view (Fiesole): terrazza 45 or Pensione Bencistà!

Ristorante il Pozzo (Montereggioni)

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Thank you for reading…

I really hope to have inspired you to get out there and explore beautiful Toscana! I’m now very excited to get back in my own kitchen and cook lots of amazing dishes inspired by my time in Italy this year. From fresh pasta recipes, to the best homemade pizza and ice-cream- I’ve got a lot of recipes all lined up for you to enjoy in the coming weeks!

Grazie per la lettura!

jess