One of my friends decided to have a destination wedding, and she picked the perfect place: Tuscany. As it coincided with the last bank holiday weekend in May I decided to take a few days annual leave and explore Tuscany. A couple of friends planned to do the same, and so I planned my trip to meet them on a couple of days and also have a couple of solo days.
My trip started in Pisa. As it was late when I arrived I headed straight to my hostel where I was greeted with friendly reception staff. I set off early the next morning to explore Pisa, and no I didn’t take any cheesy pictures of me trying to hold up the tower!
Next on to Lucca, which was one of my favourite places on my trip. This little walled town had so many great little streets to get lost in, with pretty buildings and magnificent churches. It was in Lucca that I found myself sitting in a square eating a delicious lasagne. As I ate this food I realised that I was entirely happy sitting in my own company and that I was actually enjoying the space to go off on my own and do what I wanted. I sat at the table in the glorious sunshine watching people stroll by and feeling so blessed to be in Tuscany.
After this I joined my friends in a little place called Montecatini where we took the funicular railway up to Montecatini Alto where we were able to look out across Tuscany. Our friend’s wedding can only be described as a fairy tale. It was on a beautiful Estate, outdoors on a very hot day that my friend got married. After the ceremony we enjoyed a 5 course meal with wines to accompany. At the reception we were treated to a range of wonderful foods, and I even tried snails for the first time.
Once the wedding ended I headed straight to bed, and only a few hours later I woke to get an early train to Florence. How do I even begin to describe it? Beautiful, noisy, crowded and utterly breathtaking. The architecture here is just sensational. I booked on to a free walking tour and I wasn’t disappointed. Our guide showed us the key sites and told us the history.
In one of the squares there is a replica of Michelangelo’s David. I remember reading a quote that said “If you are standing in front of a Goliath (problem) then that means there is a David inside of you”. I love this quote as it is a reminder that a challenge no matter how big or daunting can be overcome.
Many hours of walking round Florence later, and with tired feet I boarded a train to Bologna. The trains in Tuscany are incredible – so cheap, clean, efficient and it makes me so jealous that I have to spend a small fortune on train travel whenever I want to get anywhere in the UK. But, back to Bologna. I was afraid that after Lucca and Florence I would find Bologna to be a bit of an anticlimax. I am glad to say that I was wrong. It was so much quieter, a lot less tourists and it had a really chilled out vibe. I met back up with my friends in Bologna and so we ambled through the streets, stopping to take photos of the wonderful buildings and enjoying lots of al fresco dining.
I once again kept a journal, and so I’ll post some of that later, but until then here are just a few from the hundreds of photos that I took on this trip.