In the past week I have been asked twice for travel tips.
Hmm, this got me thinking, I seem to be a bit of a ‘go to’ person when it comes to travelling (I was secretly tickled pink).
I have traveled extensively over the past 20 years and I have always thought I had the ‘wanderlust gene’. I love travelling; it is all I have ever wanted to do. I spend my savings on it, I dream about it, I plan it.
So, in my space here, I would love to share a few of my travel recommendations (and ramblings).
The question I was asked this week was
“What is the best time of year to go to Tuscany?”
Well my friends, my hot travel tip is to go in spring (March, April, May) and here’s why.
Mainly the weather is why you should visit Tuscany in the spring. It is much milder (20 degrees during the day) and the nights are fresh without being bitterly cold. This obviously has advantages when you’re out sightseeing but it also means you don’t have to take winter woollies which can take up valuable space in your suitcase (you DO want room for that gorgeous leather handbag after all).
Spring is also poppy time in Tuscany and they are everywhere. They give the countryside a beautiful red hue, which means your photos will be amazing (very Instagram worthy).
Starting your Tuscan adventure in Florence is a must, what a delightful city it is, it will sweep you off your feet. The bonus of going in spring is that the attractions (including the Duomo, Uffizi and Academia to name a few) are less crowded. You can walk around these beautiful spaces without seeing the back of people’s heads (or underarms). I also suggest booking yourself a tour with a local guide. They generally live there and can tell you amazing information and show you places that many visitors would scoot past and not know about.
Try to see at least some of Tuscany on foot. Even if you just do a half day walk, I would suggest walking from Colle di Val d’Elsa to Monteriggioni. The scenery is stunning and quintessential Tuscany; you also pass through a little town called Strove, which is by far the quaintest little town I have ever seen.
Treat yourself and stay in one of the stunning properties around the Monteriggioni area. I have stayed at Borgo San Luigi and Borgo Gallinaio, they are both sensational (you will not want to leave).
Towns that are well worth the visit are; Lucca, San Minato, Gambassi, San Gimignano (the best gelato in the world resides here) and Siena.
Wherever possible, try to eat at a local osteria. They are generally run by locals, the food is fresh and from local sources and they have a casual (very Italian) atmosphere which makes you feel right at home (I have been known to stay in an Osteria for several hours one afternoon in Florence whilst I was waiting for a storm to pass). The menus are small but the food is delicious and simple.
Whenever I travel I tend to have my main meal in the middle of the day, the Italians are a fan of the l’ora di pranzo too (lunch hour). Food is about family in Italy and they do not gobble down a pre-packaged sandwich in favour of a leisurely meal at the local osteria with family and friends (and a glass of vino). I am a fan. My favourite Tuscan meals are; stuffed aubergines, tomato and bread soup and any fresh pasta.
Tuscany is to me, is the perfect trinity “history, scenery and food”. It’s hard not to fall in love when you set foot in this perfect corner of the world.
Big Love Jane x