Tuscany beyond the "under the tuscan sun" trend
In 2008 I had the pleasure to travel in the States, although on a tight schedule I visited the most known and beautiful cities such as New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami just to mention of a few.
From my Italian perspective each city had its charm, its differences and character but I have to admit that almost in every place I have been to the word "Tuscany" was a common denominator used to advertise the tuscan lifestyle, its food specialties ( sometimes with unfriendly combinations such as the "tuscan salmon" ), and obviously the tuscan wines.
That's the point: the lifestyle that the word "Tuscany" represents to the most and it is not a casualty that from the '90's on writers, movie makers, photographers, designers wrote or used this region as a setting for photo shooting, films, events, giving a growing popularity to the tuscan countryside and its hilltop towns such as Cortona, Pienza, Montepulciano and Volterra.
Today these are some of the best tuscan destinations for tourists from all over the world, everyday it is easy to meet thousand people on a tour and it is understandable that first time visitors might want to dedicate at least a hour or two to these destinations once they decide to spend a day out in the tuscan countryside.
|San Quirico d'Orcia- Valdorcia|
Several tour operators give tourists the means to go there by including these towns in their tour packages but also independent travelers can find some public transportation to reach a few of them, although sometimes it can be a challenge for non Italian speakers to figure out which bus to take, where to stop and so on, anyway this can be part of your tuscan adventure if you have plenty of time to use and to waste!
Beside the logistics it would be nice to include in a full day tour a visit to some hidden gems, off the beaten paths villages where locals will be happy to share a smile, to say "hello" and to proudly tell you that they are living in that place since generations....
|Tuscan off the beaten path village|
Several hamlets in Tuscany still have an intact medieval architecture, defense towers, castles and they hold so much history and anecdotes that guidebooks in general deserve to the main attractions and destinations.
Of course there is no public transportation to reach them and no big group tours go there so only by hiring a driver guide you will be able to savour these places and experience real Tuscany for a day.
|Anna- your personal driver guide|
Do not waste your time, if you decide to be an indipendent traveler, you do not want to travel on a bus with a big tour group, but you want to enjoy a day out from the city in the company of a driver guide, have a look at these websites to have an idea about Anna's Tuscany experiences and ask for info!