The sun clears the rain away and a new version of Tuscany appears—greens of multiple shades. Olive green, growing field green, new buds on trees and evergreens flourishing. Everywhere green with the blaze of Tuscan orange glowing against it.

Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, Cecina Mare, Cortona, Castiglione del Lago, Gaiole in Chianti … oh the places you fall in love with again and once more.

Read Frances Mayes’s wonderful Under The Tuscan Sun,* then watch the different but enjoyable Diane Lane movie. You’ll come away from both feeling inspired to travel to this warm and inviting region. The sun really does strike the buildings and flowers uniquely here. My first trip here, I was struck by how monochromatic it seemed. Then, the colors unfolded bit by bit. A red bloom here, a fluttering pink curtain there, windows framed with green shutters….

Woman drinking Italian coffee in Cortona, Tuscany


In Siena, stare up at the Torre del Mangia Tower and imagine the Piazza del Campo full of racing horses. Walk away from the crowds to find Fontebranda, under the Basilica of San Domenico. It’s the oldest fountain in Siena. Unlike the babbling of the Fonte Gaia in the piazza, the Fontebranda is still water, serene. 

Florence, Tuscany

When you reach Florence, stop, breathe in and out, and gaze about this charming city in wonder. Walking the breadth of the Ponte Vecchio stretched over the Arno River, visit with shop owners, study the distinctive wares. These are artisans and they want to chat with you about their passions.

Don’t—whatever you do—miss seeing David. You will never view a sculpture the same way again. Not after standing before David’s gorgeous, flawless beauty. Years have past since I was there and I still gasp at witnessing his glory.

Start your travels to Tuscany by reading here … then book those tickets.

*Note: Don’t skip reading Frances Mayes’s other books. Brilliant!