Italy for me was a first, I can’t believe I had never been before (don’t judge)! It’s gorgeous, I can’t wait to explore more parts of Italy now! But my first experience was spent in Pisa, oh Pisa! And yes I obviously had to take the “leaning tower of Pisa” shot! From the moment I landed, with that hot summer air rapping me up, I felt relaxed. I didn’t realise how beautiful Italy was until now, (I know I say this about everything I write) but if you haven’t been then you must!
I was lucky enough to stay in my girl (Georgie’s) townhouse, in a typically traditional Italian village called Vecchiano, away from the hustle and bustle of tourism and a more authentic way. We had a bit of time to explore before hitting the pool and getting our tan on so we went for a walk to the village and within seconds I were hit by the divine smell of Italian food! There were these lively street markets that pulled me in straight away, selling all sorts of delicious foods, I didn’t know where to start or as it happened finish, as we struggled back to the townhouse with enough food for a fortnight (we were staying for a weekend)!
Day 1 was spent in Asciano, a quaint village in the hills of Tuscany, overlooking the beautiful hillside and Pisa in the distance, we spent the day at an ancient castle, surrounded by fields, rolling hills and gorgeous flower gardens, pool side really doesn’t get better than that. With a pool, BBQ, Italian wine and pure tranquillity… I decided to bring a bit of my “colourful personality” to the place, rocking up with flamingo and ice cream floats! I spent the day in the sun, jumping in and out of the pool and feeling completely removed from the fast-paced life I usually live. It was the perfect start to what I already knew would be, my perfect weekend away!
Day 2 took us to the city of Lucca, where the historic tree-lined 4 kilometre ring encircles the entire city walls where the view is breath-taking and is something straight out of a storybook. The atmosphere is incredibly laid-back in Lucca, with so many ice cream and gelato shops, you are stuffed full before you even reach the amphitheatre square, Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, for more bruschetta, pizza, pasta and seafood choices! This all goes hand in hand with an Aperol Spritz, by the way, to keep you hydrated in the Italian summer heat! Along the cobbled streets of Lucca, I found myself drawn to all the Italian fashion stores, it was a fashionista’s heaven! (Now for some history), the region is known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and has produced many historical figures that helped shape the world of art, literature, poetry, and science, like Leonardo da Vinci, and Michaelangelo. With a never-ending list of churches, restaurants, ice cream stops, and Roman ruins to visit, Lucca is sure to feed both your brain and belly!
Day 3 started with a dip in the pool whilst getting bronzer by the minute (which for me happens easily, sorry not sorry). We later got dressed up and ventured into Pisa to get that all important picture and explore the Italian restaurants and cocktail bars, the streets are so pretty and picturesque I could just wander around the town for hours and be happy in my own little world. We went to a local restaurant where it was all about the Aperol Spritz and pizza, if Pisa is known for anything other than the leaning tower, it has to be the pizza, by the evening the streets were buzzing with enthusiastic pizza lovers from all over the world and it felt magical to be a part of it. It was the perfect way to spend my final evening, watching the Tuscan sunset over us surrounded by citronella candles (to keep those mozzies away).
One of the perks of travelling is the discovery of culture and communities, it opens the mind to how other people live and their ways of life. I need to take note from the Italians and their laid back vibes for sure.