Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We spent ten wonderful days in September with Pam and Nick (Bruno's parents) in Tuscany.  We stayed in the town of Cortona, a splendid hill town in central Tuscany.  Cortona alone offered much of what is best about Tuscany- beautiful views, cafes, gelaterias, ancient walls, and a rich history.  We made this classic Tuscan hill town our "home" for a brief time.  We stayed at 5 Pancrazi, an "in-town" location that enabled us to explore the town on foot, stroll to a pizzeria for lunch, or make a trip to the local bakery for fresh bread.    We also beautiful views from the rooftop terrace.

View from rooftop terrace at 5 Pancrazi

Cortona at Sunset

In Cortona we explored many of the churches, an ancient fort and several Piazza's, and dined at as many of the cafes and restaurants as time would allow.  By the end our our stay we learned to appreciate the Vin Santo (a locally made fortified wine) and Cantucci (a type of biscotti local to the region), after our evening meal.  The smell of breads and pastries from a local bakery that would wake us every morning was also something we grew to love!

From the nearby town of Camucia, we took the train to Florence, which presented a nice contrast to the sleepy character of Cortona.  Favorite stops in Florence included the Boboli Gardens, where one can amble through gardens sprinkled with sculptures by some of Italy's most famous artists, and the Mercato Centrale (Central Market).

Mercato Centrale in Florence

We also explored the nearby towns of Assisi,  Montepulciano and Sienna. The weather was perfect and our time was nicely balanced, with ample time to enjoy the afternoon sun whilst sitting in a Piazza with an espresso, to read a book on the rooftop terrace at 5 Pancrazi, or to explore the architecture, history and locally produced foods and wine that make Tuscany famous.  You can see more photos from our trip in our Tuscany Album.

Thanks to Pam and Nick for giving us an excuse (not that we needed one?) to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in Tuscany!