Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Next Stop: Tuscany ǀ Travel

Now I know I may have casually mentioned this once or twice but this year we are celebrating two very special occasions: the first is my 30th birthday in May and the second is our 10th wedding anniversary in August.

In thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday, I knew there were a couple of things I would like to do.  I'm not great with the pressures of a bucket list (so out went the '30 before I'm 30' idea) but I did have some things in mind for ways to celebrate and one of those was a combined birthday-anniversary trip, just me and James.

For my 18th birthday I went to Rome and I absolutely adored it, but I haven't been back to Italy since so it was the first place which came to mind.  Let's not also forget that Prosecco is also my drink of choice so heading to wine country seemed like the ideal option.

We ummed and ahhed and wondered about leaving the kids for any great length of time; it's the first time the two of us will have been out of the country together, leaving the kids with their grandparents so it's a little bit stressful but I have to say that since we got our accommodation sorted I am really looking forward to it.

We will have three full days to explore, plus half a day when we land which we might use to see some of the main sights of Pisa before we head to our apartment and there is so much that I want to see and do.  We have yet to put our final plans in place but some of the things we are considering include:-

Visiting Volterra
We are actually staying somewhere near to Volterra and although I'd like to pretend that my love of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (it's my secret shame shhhh) has nothing to do with it, I'm actually pretty excited to go and visit.  There is plenty of history to be found in this walled town including Roman ruins which is something both of us will enjoy exploring.


Drinking Wine in Chianti
This may actually be the main reason we are visiting; the idea of sipping authentic Italian wine as I watch the sun set over the Tuscan hills with a good book in my hand is just about a dream come true and we will be right on the border of the Chianti region, giving me every excuse to consume as much wine as I can possibly get my hands on (reasonably and sensibly of course...)  There are countless wine tours to be enjoyed too and I've spotted a couple which are also combined with food tours; good food and good wine, what is not to love about that combination?!

A Day Trip to Florence
I doubt that it would be possible to capture everything that makes Florence amazing in just one day trip but it would be fantastic to try.  This historical city has been recommended to us by so many people that it would be a real shame to miss out on a visit here.  Attractions such as the Uffizi Gallery, San Lorenzo's Market, the Duomo and so much more...I really hope we can make it there, even if it's just for the day.

Taking A Dip in the Thermal Baths
Did you know there were thermal baths in the Tuscan region of Italy?  Me neither until I started delving deeper into things we could enjoy whilst on our trip.  Two such natural springs are located in Saturnia and also feature waterfalls: Cascate del Mulino and Cascate del Gorello.  Both these springs are open to the public and are free to enter which certainly makes them even more appealing!

Relaxing by the Pool
We are going to Italy in June so are fully prepared for the weather to be a little changeable but it would be nice if we could spend one of our days just chilling out by the pool.  As any parent will tell you, time spent with no interruptions is a precious commodity and to be able to spend quality time together, relaxing, well...the hard part for me will be not packing 20 books in my suitcase and then squirrelling myself away for 5 days!

If you've been to Tuscany then please let us know what you would recommend we see and do!

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