This is my favorite day. I get to share with you some of my favorite times in hopes that it will help you pick a new adventure! Right now, I’m sitting here eating turkey bacon and trying to pretend it’s regular bacon while I finish this up. My body is in total disgust with me because of the neglect I’ve had on it while traveling. I told my boyfriend that I was starting better eating habits now that I’m done with travels for a bit. What’s the first thing he does? Goes out yesterday morning and gets Firecakes donuts…. Thanks, babe. Does anyone have a good regimen they use to get back on track after traveling? I’d love to hear it!
Today I’m going to talk about my time in Montepulciano (Tuscany), Italy. It really was a dream. If you read my post about my 3 days in Rome, you’ll know how hectic and unpredictable things were.
By the time we made it to Tuscany, the quiet and relaxation was well-needed. This little town on top of a hill is everything I ever imagined when I pictured Italy in my mind. There were little shops, quaint old shop owners trying to draw you in, friendly faces everywhere, and wine. And cheese. And sausage. Oh, the wine, cheese, and sausage – what dreams are made of.
My family and I rented a car and drove from the Rome airport to Montepulciano. A little tip if driving through Italy, when the GPS starts beeping and you see the little signs on the road that you’re not sure what they mean, they’re speed radar detectors! Luckily, my brother was going the speed limit or we would have gotten plenty of tickets by the time we figured this out.
If you have the opportunity to drive to destinations, I’d say do it. It’s so pretty and it’s definitely an experience. This is the only place I drove/rode to the whole almost month I was gone. The rest was planes and trains. To be legit as a “foreign” driver, my brother went to the DMV in the States and got a certain permit. I don’t believe it was required, but he got it just in case. If I recall, it was the International Driver’s Permit (IDP). Don’t quote me, though, I’m not reputable for the things that I didn’t actually do.
OK – so we made it out of Rome and the bat shit crazy drivers and made it safely to our Airbnb. We stayed in the most amazing flat and I 100% recommend it to anybody looking. The couple listing the flat were spectacular and made navigating the town so incredibly easy. It was wonderfully decorated and had the most magnificent balcony.
The town of Montepulciano itself is not that big. A quick Wikipedia glance tells me it’s about 14,000 people. It’s described as a medieval and Renaissance town almost 2000 feet up top a hill. This Wiki search I’m on also told me that Montepulciano is known worldwide for its’ wine. I didn’t know that until just now, but it makes my prior statement about the wine valid. Yes, I just used Wiki search and valid in the same sentence. Just trust me.
Now, if you drive into town, don’t expect to actually drive into town. You’ll have to park at the bottom of the hill and carry your bags up the damn hill and millions of steps. The town itself is known for being car-free. Great for the town, great for the environment, wasn’t fun for my brother and I (my mom got a ride up the hill from our BNB host because of her knee…she knows how to milk it when it counts – love you, mom). Once we hiked our shit up the hill and I could barely breathe, we made it to the incredible, quaint, town.
If you like super happening, busy, and fast-paced places – this is not for you. There are plenty of afternoon trips to nearby towns you can take, but we stayed in Montepulciano for the duration of our two days. We were still a bit overstimulated from our first time abroad and business of Rome, we just needed some downtime. That’s how we work and that’s OK. If you’re a busy, go-go-go all the time, that’s totally awesome, too! Traveling is about you – do what suits you.
So for two days we walked around the beautiful, cobblestone streets. We made friends with an adorable shop owner named Giuseppe and bought some of the work he painted. We ran in and out of wine shops that offered free tastings. We bought too many bottles of wine because all of it tasted too good to pass up. We found adorable shops that had meat and cheese trays to accompany more wine. We sat on our balcony, drank more wine, and ate more sausage/pork. This was my heaven. No lie. If I could sit on a balcony looking at the Tuscan hills while drinking wine and eating sausage for the rest of my life, I would. Don’t judge me.
I was able to counter the wine and cheese by the hills in the town. I’m not kidding that when you stand at the bottom of one you want to kind of cry a little before you start walking up it. One of the locals was saying how the town is known for having residents that live to a ripe, old age. I understand how they stay young by walking up and down those hills. I’m the kind of person where I would think long and hard about if those last 5-10 years are worth it to live with those hills. But that’s just me. It was great for a visit.
My brother and I were up at 5 one morning because neither of us could sleep. After a quick call home to my boyfriend to tell him goodnight, we walked around the town before everyone started to come out for the day. It was so quiet and so pretty. Watching the sun rise over the rolling hills was one of my favorite moments in Italy. We got to see the locals getting ready and leaving for work. We were able to take in a moment to be present before the day began to get busy.
Then, we had this amazing little breakfast at a cafe down the hill from our flat. The thing I love about Italy (and most of Europe), is the bread and bread-items that are served for breakfast. I adored these croissants, eggs, real juice, and a cappuccino.
I was able to wash my clothes here after sweating through them in Rome. The best part about this flat was the ability to line dry my clothes outside. This just screams Tuscany to me. It made me so happy. There’s nothing quite like the stiffness of line dried clothes, yeah?
I wish I could tell you all of the exciting places we visited and the crazy sights we saw, but there isn’t any. We took these two days to relax and explore the little village. It wasn’t touristy. There wasn’t a daily agenda. It was just a place to refuel before heading to Venice.
I absolutely recommend any part of Tuscany. Hands down – go. If you’re looking for a quiet little place to maybe sneak away with your partner or to unwind after a busy tourist town, head to Montepulciano. There are plenty of things to do if you choose, we just chose not to.
I was very disappointed with my time in Italy after leaving Rome, but this restored my faith.
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