Posts made in March, 2007

The Tuscan coast

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Most people image the only the sandy beaches of Tuscany, however when you are finished lazing around on the sunny sands you can hop a ride only a few km in from Cecina and visit some charming little towns still steeped in tradition and Tuscany atmosphere. Tucked in far enough away from the Costa degli Etruschi to not hear the lapping waves, these little towns are placed on high hills and command incredible views of the soft hills of the Maremma. The Maremma is known for is ample area of fields of grain —sometimes even compared to the American wide west (and used in the so called Spaghetti Westerns.) Some other places that merit a stop on your afternoon touring the countryside, and are all within a few km of Cecina include Suvereto. This small village in...

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Castello di Pierle near Cortona

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Found on a winding road just south of Cortona, the ruins of this castle make an interesting side trip along the way to Lago Trasimeno. Many consider what is left of Castello di Pierle to be one of the most beautiful and mighty examples of a feudal castle in Tuscany. As you make one of the last of the curves you will catch glimpses of this dominant structure among the green valley. To simply imagine the grandeur of such a castle with external walls that are almost 2 meters thick and the castle itself rising to almost 5 floors, this impressive record of history stands as it did almost 500 years ago. Its position and the lack of local interest has left it to sit in history almost as it was built. Inside, one can admire the circumference of the walls from 5 to 8...

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Montalcino Tuscany

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Montalcino, 37km south of Siena es a classic Tuscan hill town set within a full circuit of walls and watched over by a castle of almost fairytale perfection. A quite, immediately likable place affluent in an unshowy way. It is scarcely changed in apparence since the sixteenth century. It looks wonderful from below, its walls barely sullied by any modern building, and once up in the town the rolling hills, vineyards, orchards, olive groves and ancient oaks look equally lovely in turn, that’s Tuscany. Montalcino make an excellent base for much southern Tuscany, lying within easy striking distance of the abbeys of Monte Oliveto and Sant’ Antimo. Accommodation is severely limited and it’s wise to book ahead at almost any time of year. There is only...

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