Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tuscany Continued

I never thought I would still be recapping our trip to Italy, but life happens.  It is so much fun to be looking back through the pictures and remembering!  I am ready to go back!

When we left Florence we headed to the country side.  Gorgeous!

We stayed at a fantastic hotel called Hotel Villa Rioddi located in Volterra.  The hotel and grounds were beautiful, breakfast was included, and it was run by a mother and son team who had converted an old estate into a hotel.  We loved it.


I loved walking the grounds and taking in the views from the property.  It was so amazing and so simple at the same time.

We spent our first day exploring Volterra.  It was probably my favorite town we visited.


We spent the day shopping, wandering and enjoying the history of this fantastic town.

Bustling city streets.

We stopped in this church and lit candles for PawPaw.

We visited an artist's studio, an alabaster workshop, and I may have bought a couple of purses.  We also got our first taste of gelato. 

No, I do not know why we waited so long.

The next day we toured other towns in Tuscany with this fantastic lady.

This is Marije and she works for a sight seeing company called Hills and Roads.  Marije is wonderful!  She actually did a lot more than tour us one day, she also picked us up from our hotel in Florence and brought us to Hotel Villa Rioddi, she recommended places to eat and visit in Volterra, and she took us back to the train station after our stay in Volterra.  If you are in the area and need a tour guide, call Hills and Roads, ask or Marije.  You won't be sorry.  She is AWESOME.  Our trip would not have been the same without her.

On our second day in the Tuscan country side with Marije we visited Pisa!

Did you know that the leaning tower is a bell tower?  Yes, it is a free standing bell tower for the church in Pisa.

See?  I had no idea.  It is so beautiful in person.

Here is the baptistry.

There is not much else to see and do in Pisa, but the tower and this church is a must visit.  It is so beautiful.  Very touristy, but so worth the stop.

Marije also took us to Lari.  Pasta anyone?

 This pasta is delicious.  We got to see them packaging it.

We came home with some.

So pretty.

This might be my very favorite street in Lari.


A visit to the Tuscan country side would not be complete without a winery tour.

This is Castelvecchio Winery in Terricola.  It is family owned and they also make olive oil.  A great way to end a fantastic tour.

Thank you Marije for a fantastic journey!!  We can't wait to come back and visit you!

Sigh, I am vacation sick.

Linking Up:

Ivy and Elephants


  1. Oh Ema, your trip looks amazing. I enjoyed going down memory lane with you. This is such an awesome post. I would love it if you would share this post at our WIW linky party. Hope you can join us today!

    Paula, your newest follower

  2. Beautiful.....loved the pics...thanks for the tour! My favorite was that quaint street with the window boxes. I am your newest follower~~~~Roxie

    1. I wish our streets looked more like that here in Houston! I loved them!

  3. Wow Ema, these photos are amazing! Italy is so beautiful, the streets, the food, everything! This post is so badly making me want to travel! I might start googling flights...

    Looks like you had a wonderful time!

    Zoe xx


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