Trip to Anywhere

Discovering a gem in Tuscany

We have travelled to Italy 4 years in a row now and have come to love this Country. Not the larger Cities that are driven by the tourist dollar; the ones with long lineups into attractions, chain hotels or overpriced restaurants catering to a tourists palette, but the authentic Italy. The Italy that exists out of the larger Cities, where English is rarely spoken, where you can relax with an espresso and panini to people watch or shop for your next meal at the local grocery or weekend market or buy your new wardrobe at a boutique store.

In every major city you can find the recognizable chain hotel, a familiar naming restaurant or well known attraction.It makes you, the tourist, feel comfortable in a far way Country however, we have come to realize that if you go out of your comfort zone and be more of an adventurer you can find wondrous sites, fabulous people, and delightful accommodation. All this enhances your stay; immersing you deep into the culture and atmosphere of the locality.

This year was our 3rd trip to Tuscany and our second using an owners home.We wanted to be in the heart of the Chianti region so after a lot of research we found “The House of 7 Balconies” owned by Curzio.

It is situated a quick 15 minute drive to Greve in Chianti, the heart of the Chianti region and a 15 minute drive to Figline Valdarno, a small city for your shopping needs and a gateway for the train to Florence.

This beautiful quirky 3 story home is a hidden gem for you to make a base and explore the Tuscan region.It has an electric gate for security, internet for social, Netflix for binging, 7 balconies for gazing, 4 bedrooms for catching some sleep, a full kitchen for making local meals and so much more.

If you stay 5 nights or longer, the owners will make you an authentic Tuscan lunch or dinner.Ours was a feast that I no words can describe.We had enough leftovers to feed our neighbours and ourselves for 3 days.We still talk about that meal as a highlight of the trip.

If you aren’t in the mood to cook, there is a pizzeria around the corner (Pizzeria Ponte) that only makes pizza but all fresh whole ingredients.No guilty calories here.A 5 minute drive up the road and you come into the village of Dudda and its extremely popular restaurant Trattoria la Botteghina.We suggest making reservations in advance.

Take a trip into Figline Valdarno and go to the Co Op for groceries and wine and souvenirs and clothing and the largest Salami you will see in your life.

When you start your winery tour, pace yourself.There are wineries as far as the eye can see and even more where they can’t see.Look for the rooster logo with the burgundy circle around it.This logo certifies you are getting authentic chianti classic wine made with sangiovese grapes.You can pick up winery maps online, bookstores and in any major town or city around you.

Take a drive through any of the roads and you will come across so many unexpected attractions and sites.Breath taking vistas, hidden castles, 5 star resorts, walled cities are all within a 1hr drive from the villa.

Take a day to explore Florence.We suggest driving to the train station at Figli Vardano and buying a return train ticket for the day.It will cost about 7 euro and save you major headaches driving into and around Firenze.Once in Firenze, the hop on/hop off bus is a great way to see the city and outlying areas.There are two runs, the inner which goes through true Florence city centre and the outer which hits the suburbs and outlying villages of Firenze giving you great vistas of the city.

Finally, talk to the people.Yes there will probably be a language barrier but a smile and patience gets you far and a new friend.We have come across so many new friends in Italy.We have long conversations using google translate, hand gestures, pictures and very broken English and Italian.But again, we are on vacation so time is not an issue.Sit, relax, talk, listen to music, drink some wine or Prosecco, eat prosciutto and cheese and live!

If you would like us to set up a Tuscan adventure please give us a call 1-800-263-3022 or email at info@orleanstravel.ca,We can also help you set up other independent adventures around the World, African safari, castle tour of Ireland or beach tripping through Thailand.Let us make your dreams come true

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