Italy is a country which calls me. From the food, the people, the art, the music and the effusive hand gestures. A country whose warmth and chaos reminds me a lot to Mexico, where people drive as they please, where there’s always a party and food on the table. A familiar friendliness that it’s difficult to find in Europe, and nothing better to relieve the September’s miseries than with the memories of what summer took away.
Tuscany is only the home of one of the most important events in the world of art, the Renaissance in all its glory. It’s also one of the most frequent places by tourists. Forgive me, then, that this guide/story is limited to well-known and highly frequented points, and that my recommendations are based on sentimental, corny and very personal memories.
The Kidnapping of the
Sabine Women – Giambologna
Florence is the capital, not only from the Tuscany, but from the Renaissance art. A point in the global map I wanted to visit since my first university classes on history of art. The city inhabited by supernatural beings that for centuries have been able to stop the breath from the most reluctant. Because yes, the Adonis seems like he’s breathing and the Venus of Urbino is, hedonistically speaking, perfect.
Must-have visits that you can’t miss are the Galleria degli Uffizi, the Galleria dell’Accademia and enter the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, both the cathedral and the tower. Moreover, you’ll find how every street will keep your eyes occupied and any bench and resting point will be a delight.
top – Venus of Urbino – Titian
But for true treats, the italian food
on any corner and restaurant.
A espresso with ice. A spritz at
mid-afternoon. A gelato for any
time of the day, my favorites:
Venchi and La Strega Nocciola.
Change of itinerary. Wake up at six on the mornings, prepare a breakfast for takeaway and ride the train to Siena for 9,50€. A small corner in the same Tuscany famous for the Palio, a horse race celebrated in the Piazza del Campo di Siena.
Its magnificent architecture and urbanization will make you walk on every one of its narrow and steep streets, so much that you will probably ignore the fatigue on your feet and the heat within the city. My main recommendation is to wear comfortable shoes and carry a few band-aids. Don’t thank me and set your alarm for the next morning.
Quickly buy a coffee and a croissant at the station. Take the Trenitalia towards Pisa for 8,50€ first thing in the morning. Arrive in approximately an hour to your destination and keep calm, the atmosphere will be noisy, touristy, heated (gelato is recommended) and unflattering for a city whose foundations are both its misfortune and fortune.
Let the path to the bridge take you to the tower, the one which crowns every kiosk with Italian memorabilia and the magnet I have on my fridge. Keep on calm, because the moment you see it, you won’t believe it. Yes, it looks bigger, more magnificent and more inclined than in photos, and I don’t exaggerate when I tell you my first reaction at first sight was: breathless. It’s definitely one of the most fortunate accidents that could have ever happened.
My love for Italy is difficult to explain, so I hope this visual story supported by a few words could create in you a small tickle. The kind of tickle that makes you book your flight tickets asap for the Tuscany and put on hold your diet, ’cause amore mio, I don’t know about you, but I’m always in the mood for risotto.