Ever since I settled in Nice, I have dreamed of a romantic weekend away to Italy, to get a ride in the beautiful Tuscany landscape singing Italian songs, and candle-light pasta dinner with a glass of Chianti wine…
This dream has now come true, as May bank holidays in France makes it a perfect destination for a last minute 3 days trip from Nice. I have the pleasure to share with you some ideas of visits and accommodation.
First stop in Liguria: Sestri levante (3 hours drive)
Sestri Levante is a charming seaside village, only 50 km from Genoa, so we decided to sleep nearby on Friday night, as we left Nice directly after work.
It was nice visiting, walking by the sea and atop of the hill to admire the view, and of course having our first Italian pizza in the busy narrow streets.
Very close to the Cinqueterre, it is very touristic with its two bays, colorful houses and a friendly old town.
More information about Sestri levante : here.
We chose a B&B in a less touristic village, very homy and with a great terrace: Rivarola dei Castelli
aprox. 70€/ night, breakfast included.
Days 2,3 : Tuscany
Our first discovery was the medieval village of San Giminiano. (2 hours and 30 minutes drive from Sestri Levante)
I finally had my dreamed postcard landscape!
San Giminiano historical centre, registered in UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage, counts many churches and castles, 13 towers from the Fourteenth century, and the village offers a nice view on the vineyards around.
The village is fortified and lies upon a hill so you need to park outside the walls, many parkings are available.
More information about San Giminiano: here.
We then decided to go for a hiking day in the Castelvecchio natural park, as our hotel was situated just outside the woods.
The ruins of Castelvecchio (379 metres) are not the only point there… This wide wood is a protected area, so we had the chance to see two hinds and a fox.
More information about the Reserve: here.
Finally, the cherry on the cake : Siena.
Honestly, though it was the purpose of the journey I had no idea of the splendor awaiting there, another UNESCO World heritage site.
The Siena Cathedral, called Duomo, is a breathtaking masterpiece of gothic architecture.
The Piazza del Campo, a medieval round-shape square, is also a must see.
The city, founded by Sienus and Aschius, sons of Remus, fled Rome when their father was murdered by Remulus, and took with them to Siena the symbol of the wolf and children.
Finally, the best view was taken from outside the historic centre, at the Forteza Medicea (Piazza Caduti delle Forze Armate).
More information about Siena: here.
- Accomodation: For my stay in the heart of Tuscany, I chose a B&B near san Giminiano, at the countryside, in Pian di sala: el Antico Casale. Nice swimming pool and garden with olive trees.
Elsa in PISA!
To end the journey, on the way back to Nice, we couldn’t miss a short visit of Pisa, and a picture of a world famous monument to add to my collection.
I think this vibrant city definitely deserves a longer visit to see more than the Piaza dei Miracoli.
The leaning tower is 56 m-high, bigger than I had imagined… its construction was surprisingly very long and ended in 1371. The work was stabilized in the 90’s, which should preserve this attraction for the centuries to come and the fame of its architect M. Pisano.