A Week in Tuscany


I mean what sounds better than spending a week in a Tuscan villa?  It was glorious, but I do want to share a lot of the details as it was a bit more difficult to plan than some of our other holidays.  I think because most people want to just chill out and explore, not over plan like me!  But in case you are an over planner, hopefully hearing what we got up to will help you a little bit and give you a few ideas to add to your list!

We flew from London to Pisa, then drove our hire car to the villa that we had booked for the week.  We booked the villa through Airbnb and it was sensational, it had absolutely everything that we needed and more.  The villa was in Montecatini val di Cecina and it took us about an hour to drive there from the airport (longer actually as we got a bit lost trying to find the actual villa, which tells you how remote it truly was!)

We arrived on a Sunday, which meant that many shops were closed, but luckily we found a small shop to buy some basic groceries to last us the first day.  I would highly recommend looking for a shop on the way to the villa as once you're there you won't want to leave again.  Then we were able to spend the rest of the first day at our villa getting settled in and swimming in the pool.

On day two we drove into the town of Montecatini val di Cecina and explored a bit more.  There are a few cute little shops, a deli and a bakery and a couple of restaurants as well.  We had lunch at a restaurant called La Terrrazza sul Borgo and went for a walk up the hill to get a view of the valley below.  It is absolutely beautiful, definitely worth a look around if you're in the area (but not somewhere I would recommend going out of your way to see as it is quite small.)

On day three we went to Volterra, which I would definitely recommend going to!  We parked down at the bottom and walked up to a scenic lookout over the town. We then wandered through the cute little streets and found ourselves at Teatro Romano di Volterra which is the ruins of the old roman theatre, we were too late to buy tickets to go in, but we actually got a fantastic view by walking on the roads all along the top of it.  We had pizza for dinner at a restaurant called La Mangiatoia which had outdoor tables and really nice pizzas.  Then went to a place across the street for gelato.  Volterra was not overly busy and just had a wonderful feeling to it, it is definitely a town I would visit again.

On day four we just had a pool day at the villa and relaxed and ate lots of lovely Italian food.  We found that even the food that we bought from the big grocery store in Volterra was so good, but we had also picked up some local produce and olive oil to enjoy while we were there.

On day five we ventured into Florence to explore and see the sights.  It was an extremely hot day and very, very crowded.  We saw the Piazza san Marco and walked along the Ponte Vecchio bridge.  It was actually a bit much for the children so we didn't stay for too long.  We had lunch there but not at anywhere that fantastic that I would particularly recommend, and we had gelato at one of the little places by the bridge.  Florence is beautiful, don't get me wrong, and luckily my husband and I had visited and stayed in Florence for a few days years ago.  But this day was not the ideal time to visit and the kids just were not into it.  So I would highly recommend doing a bit more research and having a plan if you are planning to take kids to Florence as I am sure that there are more things that they would enjoy which we just did not find.

Day six was beach day!  We went to Marina di Bibbona for a swim in the sea and a walk around.  It is a lovely beach and we were able to find a nice spot to get settled to spend a good few hours paddling.  There are several snack bars further along the beach, so we were able to go there to pick up some gelato (of course!) and there were loads of people selling all sorts of items on the beach, so even if you are completely unprepared you would be able to buy absolutely anything!

That evening we were looking for a place to have dinner and stumbled upon the town of Bibbona which was a short drive from the beach and was absolutely breathtaking!  We had dinner at a fantastic pizza restaurant called L'Orto Etrusco and then walked around the village at night.  It was like walking through a film set based in Tuscany, it was so beautiful that it actually didn't look real!  Photos do not do it justice, but please do visit if you are nearby.

On day seven we went for a fabulous lunch at a restaurant on the outskirts of Montecatini Val di Cecina called Locanda Le Giunche which we would highly recommend.  The food was fantastic and the scenery is sensational.  We all had the most wonderful relaxed lunch and it was the perfect was to end our stay in Tuscany.

There are a few sunflower fields nearby so we stopped for some photos on the way back to the villa.

On our very last day we sadly packed up the villa and drove to Pisa to finally see the tower before our flight home.  We found a place to park quite near to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and walked over.  It was extremely crowded and busy but we managed to get some fun photos and buy a couple of cheesy souvenirs.  I definitely think it's worthwhile to see the tower, but it's definitely not necessary to spend more than a day in Pisa as there wasn't much else to see or do there.  We weren't successful in finding very good food for lunch, but we did find some fantastic gelato at Gelateria De' Coltelli which is definitely worth the trek to the bridge to find!  Again I am sure that there are some other terrific sights and eats so I would recommend a bit more research if you can (but do visit the gelateria we went to as it was so good!)

And that was the end of our trip!  It was lovely and relaxing at the villa, we enjoyed exploring all of the little villages and eating as much gelato as we possibly could!  We weren't extremely impressed by the bigger cities, not that they don't have incredible historical sights, but more because of the extreme crowds and summer heat, which are both things to take into consideration.  Have you been to Tuscany, please let me know what you enjoyed and I can add it to the post!

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