Pienza is my favourite town in Tuscany and that is saying a lot. Because the other towns are amazing. But there is something so peaceful and beautiful about Pienza.Go for a walk down Via del Biacio and via dell’Amore to see the view across the valley.
There are some really nice restaurants as well. We always try and go to the Trattoria Latte di Luna, my husband loves the Roast Pork and I love the pasta. Another favourite is Trattoria da Fiorella. Then it is a must to go to Gelateria Pasticceria (Via Enzo Mangiavacchi, 3) for dessert!
Then in the afternoon go for a drive to Capella Madonna di Vitaleta.
We are definitely biased, but this is the best place to stay in Tuscany – http://www.santantonio.it
Sant’Antonio Country Resort is run by Nico Pannevis and Elena Falvo. Just have a look at the comments on Sant’Antonio’s Facebook to see what people think of these hosts! They are wonderful people! Nico was originally trained as a Food and Beverage Manager in London at The Ritz. He then went on to manage a Michelin star restaurant in Mayfair. Nico speaks at least 6 languages. Elena was taught the ropes in viticulture by her father, Ettore, a renowned wine producer; founder and former producer of Avignonesi Winery.
Staying in Sant’Antonio is just beautiful. Here are some photos.
Our favourite place to come is Montepulciano. We have been coming here for about 14 years! Our friends own Sant’Antonio Country Resort where we always stay!
Montepulciano is the perfect place to base yourself in Tuscany. It is one to two hours from everything: Siena, Florence, Rome, Assisi, San Gimignano. And so many beautiful hill towns: Pienza, Monticchiello, Montalcino, etc.
It’s also just over one hour away from Prada, Tom Ford, Ballenciaga, Dolce e Gabbana, Gucci, etc outlets!
And this is what it looks like
On our way to Montepulciano from Bologna. First stop is San Luca just outside Bologna. The church is beautiful and the surrounding countryside is just as beautiful!
We climbed to the top of the church. Great for the glutes! I was definitely wearing the wrong outfit though. And didn’t stay up the top very long – being scared of heights! The place is beautiful though. I was surprised by the amazing walkway from the town that has 666 arches! Why 666 is my question?
We hadn’t had a chance to have breakfast so were the first people into the restaurant just down the road at 12noon for lunch! In any other country a restaurant that close to a tourist site would be a nightmare but not Italy! Food was really nice! The restaurant is Vito a San Luca.
Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca
Via di San Luca, 36, 40135 Bologna BO, Italy
+39 051 614 2339
Set out in the morning to find good coffee and a shop recommended by a friend. Coffee and an apricot crossaint was our breakfast at Cafe Terzi, both were delicious.
Then came our discovery walk and I made the mistake of trying to locate a shop based on where it was on Google maps! Rookie mistake. This send us up and down the same street, down back alleys until finally I just went by the listed address and found it. Then of course we were only in the shop for about two minutes lol after 30 minutes walking trying to find it.
We got hassled by a couple beggars on our way, they move away quick, but one guy approached my husband and came so close to him that my husband was getting ready to head butt him! Note, my husband is trained in Krav Maga (fortunately). But he stayed cool and we kept walking.
We have walked so much in the past few days that we were knackered! So after lunch, I took on the Italian tradition of taking a siesta! The good thing about all the walking is it allows us to eat whatever we want 😊!
Lunch was the food highlight so far, at a Restaurant called Restaurant Pizzeria Nino. The food and service was excellent! I had Spaghetti alla Carbonara and it was the best I’ve ever had! Delicious!
Bologna is not really a tourist city, which makes it a nice place to visit for a few days. I can see that it would be a great place to live too. It’s small and beautiful but also has fabulous shopping, which I will investigate tomorrow.
Dinner we went to Trattoria del Biassanot which was very nice but didn’t compare to Nino.
Arrived in Bologna on a rainy day with glimpses of sun. My first time here. Grabbed a taxi to the hotel which was about €20.
Staying at the Hotel Metropolitan right in the middle of the old town. The hotel also has apartments close to the hotel and that’s where I’m staying. Very nice! Great service so far and the apartment is very modern and immaculate.
Checked in at about 12 and after freshening you then went straight for a pizza lunch! You have to remember in Italy that restaurants have strict opening times. Lunch is between 12 and 2.30 and Dinner from 7pm. Don’t rock up at 3pm and think you can have a late lunch.
Lunch was at Zia Margherita,
Via Guglielmo Oberdan, 24f, 40126 Bologna
I had the Marinara pizza with added salsiccia (sausage). It was delicious!
Then walked the streets just around the main area. Bologna is not a crazy tourist town which is nice. Weather was a bit miserable so not great photos yet!
Shopping looks amazing in Bologna. Only tried on shop so far which was Desigual, love this shop!
Had to stop for coffee and treats at Impero Comprare – yum! Got a selection of small pastries – delicious!!
After lots of walking went back to hotel and rested before dinner! This is a standard them when travelling in Italy. Lots of walking in between lots of eating!
We then went to Da Nella restaurant for dinner. This was recommended by the hotel. Old style Italian restaurant with old male waiters. It was the best! Whenever you have older make Italian waiters it’s always great service and food! We started with some prosciutto which was so fresh, probably close to the best I’ve ever had. We also had Mushrooms fritto (fried). First time I’ve had those – absolutely delicious… then came tagliatelle bolognaise… has too right. It was delicious!
Day one was all about the food! And as always Italy has the best!
Finally stayed in the perfect place in London. The Bentley Hotel in a South Kensington, beautiful hotel, great service and great location. 5 minute walk to Gloucester Rd Tube station, Piccadilly line which takes you straight to Heathrow.
Arrived in in Terminal 5, much more efficient check in and security now, got through in about 30 mins. And it was only that long because I got targeted and had to take off my boots lol.
On the flight, it’s a quick flight only 90 minutes. The plane is practically full but being a platinum frequent flier with Qantas, they have left the seat next to me empty! It’s these little things that make platinum amazing!