Our Tuscan adventure!

August 28, 2019

Hello there!! We are back from a trip of a lifetime -- a dream vacation to Italy. It has been on my list of places I'd love to visit for my whole adult life.

We are big wine lovers and take a trip to California every year with friends. We've always said someday we'd plan a trip to Tuscany instead. Our friends celebrated a big wedding anniversary this year so we decided to do it.

I rarely blog about our trips, even when readers request that I do. I know many of you really enjoy them, but it makes me a little uncomfortable and all LOOK AT WHAT I GOT TO DO. ;) But this was truly a trip of a lifetime, so I'll be sharing a few posts about this one. I took too many photos for just one post. ;)

Our friends planned the trip and they couldn't have done any better. Every bit of it was a dream! We are the kind of people that like to GO on vacation. We've done plenty of relaxing trips, but overall we prefer to explore and experience! This trip was just that -- we saw SO much in the short time we were there.

In this post, I'm sharing the beauty of Tuscany. The vistas and the villages that truly took my breath away. The countryside is all rolling hills and mountains, with olive and cypress trees everywhere (my favorites!) and fields of sunflowers and grape vines. Ancient, small villages pop up at the top of the hills and mountains throughout.

We stayed in an Airbnb in a very, very small village called Monticchiello. I nearly cried when we got there. I couldn't have imagined a more authentic place to stay. It was everything I had dreamed!
Where to stay in Italy

It is not a big tourist spot, there were very few people visiting -- many of those who came in for dinner seemed to be from nearby. It was like we were back in time -- a true treasure!

These steps went up to the second floor our little cottage:
Where to stay in Monticchiello Italy

Even the front door and entrance was dreamy: 

Airbnb in Monticchiello Italy

Where to stay for authentic Italy experience

Monticchiello was very quaint and private -- I just loved it:
Where to stay in Italy for authentic experience

Where to stay in Tuscany

Beautiful village in Tuscany

Tiny village experience in Italy

They make up for not having much land by adding flowers EVERYWHERE. They are on steps, tucked into corners, along the streets...all over. Gardens were plentiful too, but again, placed in any spot that would work. 

The result was so lush and beautiful, even without a lot of green space: 
Italian doorways with flowers and vines

Tour through village in Monticchiello Italy

Flowers and door in Tuscany

Where to stay in Tuscany for authentic experience

Where to stay in Italy village

Even though it was small, we were surprised at what was available there! There was a gorgeous church, a park, a few small shops, a bar and even an ATM machine. ;) There was a wine/gelato shop and two amazing restaurants. We ate at all of them and WOW. So good: 
Restaurant in small Italian village

I really couldn't have imagined a better spot for our first trip!

Even better than the little village was the view from the top. This is what I opened our shutters to every morning:
View from Monticchiello Italy

And this was the view from the little village: 
Italy views in Tuscany

Speaking of the views, other than the food and wine, that was my favorite part. Endless rolling hills with the tall, skinny Cypress trees that you think of when you think Italy. Green space and trees are my THING...I'd take this kind of view over a beach any day. 

Here's just a few shots I got during the trip: 
Tuscan views and vistas

Gorgeous Tuscan countryside

Rolling hills in Tuscany, Italy

Italian countryside with olive trees

AMAZING right?? The photos don't even begin to do it all justice. What an amazing, beautiful trip!! I can't wait to show you more, but I think this is a good start. ;)

If you have any questions on what I've shared so far, feel free to ask! If you're interested in where we stayed, you're welcome to email me. The cost of the whole trip wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and that's mostly due to us staying in the Airbnb instead of a hotel. It was incredibly affordable when split between us.

I'll be back with more soon, but now it's back to DIY and house stuff! It's so good to be home!!

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  1. Amazing!!! How was the weather?

    1. We lucked out BIG time. It had been crazy hot before we got there, but we had a lot of rain in the mornings that cooled things off nicely. It was in the 80's -- a little hotter on the coast at Cinque Terre but not horrible. :)

  2. Beautiful! I'm assuming that you rented a car? How did you find the driving there? My husband is always resistant to driving in foreign countries which can limit our options if the train doesn't stop there. Did you use the village as a base and venture from there or mainly stay in the village the entire time?

    1. Yes we rented a car. It was a little crazy at times -- you have to be a very defensive driver all the time because people just pull out or merge without looking. They whip around corners FAST too. ;) But our husbands got used it fast and otherwise it's very similar to here. (Same side of car, road, etc.) The train was GREAT and such a great option as well. Yes, we stayed and drove to our a destinations every day. It's a lot more drive time if you stay out in the country like we did. But SO worth it. :)

  3. Have been to Tuscany twice and once you have seen it with your own eyes it forever holds a place in your heart - there truly is nowhere on earth like it. We are headed back to Italy this weekend but will be exploring an entirely different, but no less beautiful region - the Dolomite mountains, north of Venice. Google them, you’ll want to visit there next!!

  4. Gorgeous photos! They look like paintings/postcards! Definitely professional quality -- what wonderful memories you will have! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Where were all the people? It looks so abandoned. Lovely place.

  6. Are cypress trees part of their industry ?

  7. Beautiful, beautiful photos! That is exactly the type of village and accommodations I would have loved. Thanks for sharing and can't wait to see more.

  8. Oh Sarah, These pictures are absolutely breathtaking. I have been to Italy twice and have just passed thru Tuscany. I fell in love with doors when I was there and my home is filled with pictures of doors from Italy mostly but also France. I am going to try and copy your picture of your doorway to the Air B & B so I can frame it in my home. What a great great trip. I'm so happy for you that it got to happen.
    So looking forward to more pictures.


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