Away from Tuscany’s historic capital and palaces, there is a land that seems to be blessed by the creator. Never mind that the central region of the Apennine Peninsula hosts a myriad of World Heritage Sites; never mind that it was the birthplace of the Renaissance. Think about a land dotted with villas surrounded by perfectly manicured cypress trees, rolling hills, mountain ranges; think about the land where Italy’s greatest wines are produced. So, I can’t help but feel that the Tuscany region was somehow consecrated from the beginning.
Of course, besides exploring the small medieval towns, I came here for the landscape. The region is vast, and the only way to find that postcard-perfect scene is just to wander around. Photographing the images below was just a matter of leaving the Autostrada and jumping onto the less-traveled roads, the ones that connect local villages and small towns. I tried to do some research in advance, looking for the right spot, but I always ended up with confusing directions, and with that I decided that it would be better to get lost and let the terrain guide me.
It didn’t take long after I left the main highway to be in awe. Intense pale greens from hills that extended well beyond the horizon contrasting with cobalt skies circled me almost immediately. Like many others before, I fell for the dazzling vistas. Pulitzer winner and famous New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis once said, “Americans who visit Tuscany or Umbria love the landscape: the silvery olive groves, the fields of sunflowers, the vineyards, the stone houses and barns.” And oh gosh, I am not American, but I loved it too…what’s not to love about all that?
Here are some of the photos I took driving around between Siena, Montepulciano, Montalcino, San Gimignano and the Val d’Orcia, in fabulous Tuscany.
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