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Glimpse of 3 Tuscan Towns in 24 Hours

This past weekend, as we spent time with friends in Tuscany, we also visited 3 Tuscan towns we have never been too before. It’s unfortunate that we are always short on time and only manage a glimpse of them. However, a glimpse and stroll through these Tuscan towns are nonetheless fascinating.

Tuscan Towns: Beautiful Tuscany

I can’t put my finger on it but Tuscany always feels magical. Its enchanting landscape adds to this but whatever it is, it was good to be back as the last time we were in Tuscany was last June.

3 Tuscan Towns

San Gimignano

This is probably the best known Tuscan town we visited among the three. As you approach the town, the towers are prominent and out of the 72 that were originally built, only 14 remains today. In 1990, San Gimignano was included by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.

Tuscan Towns: San Gimignano - Duomo and Towers

Our friends were here in January as they had heard about a gelateria that was a world champion. It was closed then but this time around we got lucky. While the gelato was good, I wouldn’t say it’s the best I have tasted and Luca says he still prefers Fassi.

Tuscan Towns: San Gimignano - Gelateria

The gelateria is in Piazza della Cisterna, one of the main piazzas in San Gimignano. For more information about this town, here is the link to their official website in English.

Volterra

The drive we took to Volterra was stunning. It is what you would imagine Tuscany to be and it didn’t disappoint. I wish I had a better camera or was a better photographer to capture the lovely scenery but the photos below are all that you get.

Tuscan Towns: Drive to Volterra

For those who are Twilight fans, you must be familiar with Volterra. However, from what I have heard, the scenes in the movie were not filmed here but in Montepulciano.

Tuscan_Towns_Volterra

Apart from its fame from Twilight, Volterra is known for its alabaster handicrafts. Alabaster is a mineral mined in the area that is used for making a variety of artwork. There is even an Alabaster EcoMuseum which shares the story of this craft.

Tuscan Towns: Volterra - Alabaster

While we didn’t have the chance to visit the Alabaster nor the Etruscan museums, we did get a glimpse of the Roman Theater. I guess it will be an excuse to visit Volterra again.

Here is more information on Volterra.

Certaldo Alto

This is the upper part of the town where it feels like you have stepped into the past. This medieval town is home to about 150 residents and was home to Boccaccio, an Italian poet and author.

Tuscan Towns: Certaldo Alto

When we got here, there were hardly any one on the streets as it was getting dark and chilly. We went into a bar to get some tea and coffee but ended up also getting some cantuccini which were so good! At the end, our friend finally gave in and also ordered vin santo to go with them.

Tuscan_Towns_Certaldo_Alto_Cantuccini

This is a much smaller town compared to the other two Tuscan towns but have a few places of interest such as Palazzo Pretorio and Casa del Boccaccio.

While we didn’t get a chance to fully explore these Tuscan towns in detailed, I am glad we got a chance to visit them as I just love the charm that each one had to offer.

Have you been to these Tuscan towns and if not, which ones would you visit?

About Diana

11 comments

  1. Too bad you didn’t have more time to linger. As they all look quite linger-able!

    • There are just so many of these towns dotting the Tuscan countryside which are attractions in themselves. All you need to do is just linger around and enjoy their charm. Need to plan better next time around :)

  2. You posted a lot of beautiful pictures showcasing the gem that is Tuscany and what did I zoom into?…the gelateria…hahahaha! Seriously, thanks for the ‘tour’ Diana! You’re so lucky to be in such a scenic part of the world.

    • Hi Joy, hahaha you are not the only one! When I wrote the post I was thinking I should be highlighting the towns and not the gelato store :) But as a gelato lover, I can’t help it!

  3. I felt hungry just looking at the cantuccini. When I was 12, I went to Siena and absolutely loved it. I need to go back to Italy, and your post reminded me of this!

    • Hi Muriel, I was in Siena last year but it was nice this time around to visit the smaller towns around the area. Hope you get the chance to visit Italy soon!

  4. Ah one place I never got to explore in my 3 trips to Italy. Can you believe it?!

    • Hi Janine, I am surprised because Tuscany is the region most people want to explore. Actually good on you because there are also so many beautiful regions in Italy that are worth exploring. Which places have you visited in Italy?

  5. Wow! What a wide range of beauty! I don’t know much about Italy at all and had no preconceived notions of what Tuscany would be like, but the shots you’ve taken seem to express nature, beauty, and history to me, all in one. =) It sounds like you had a joyous day! =)

    • Hi Sam thanks for your feedback. I was trying my best to portray those characteristics. While Florence is beautiful, I think the smaller towns in Tuscany are what make it special. Besides the beauty of the place, it was also good to see friends whom we haven’t seen for a while. Altogether, we had a fabulous time.

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