Having been to Tuscany twice now, once on our honeymoon and once with family, we have managed to visit Montepulciano multiple times. One our first visit we went back two or three times before we even realised that there was a whole other part of town we hadn’t yet explored. During our second holiday to the area we were slightly more seasoned and were ready with more of what we wanted to see and where we wanted to go.
One of our favourite spots in Montepulciano is the balcony of Caffe Poliziano. Walking through the cafe restaurant you can sit at the back looking over the fields enjoying a drink and some dessert treats. They have a large glass cabinet of mini desserts and patisserie treats that at the time cost between 1 – 4 euro each. It is a relaxing spot with a luxury feel and we will no doubt be going on our trip to the town.
My next spot again includes food funnily enough. This time in the form of a picnic. Hiring a car on our honeymoon meant we were able to go just outside of Montepulciano to a farm shop where you could pick a basket of meats, cheese, bread and wine and sit outside. This is up there as one of my favourite experiences from our honeymoon as it was just relaxed, easy and had beautiful views.
Another experience we got to do on our second visit to Tuscany was wine tasting. Down in the cellars at Cantina Fattoria della Talosa we got to see the barrels of wine and hear what made each wine different to the next. We also got to hear about the history of the site which was said to be the oldest in the area to include a visit to the caves and of course taste the local wine and eat the meats and cheeses alongside it. It was here I decided to bring a bottle home for my parents as a ‘thanks for looking after the dog’ gift.
Anytime we go to Tuscany now we will always visit Montepulciano and my husband says the town is one of his favourites, as with most places in Italy the food anywhere we go is amazing and here is no different. Pizza, pasta, bread and wine is all I ask for in any restaurant so I’m always happy in Italy.
If you havent already check out my other Italian Travel Diaries posts and see more of Montalcino and Venice.
That’s right, we love Italy. After visiting a few times we would still go back probably yearly to see different cities. We had heard mixed reviews about Venice with some people saying it had a whiff from the canals and some reporting how busy and expensive it was. We of course needed to find out for ourselves and so booked our stay.
It was my husband that had booked our room at Ai Mori d’Oriente and on arrival it was a beautiful, luxurious hotel. We were very happy to find out we had been given a room upgrade ending up in a two storey apartment style room. Little extras such as pillow sweets, weather reports and bottles of water on the bedside made finishing touches that little extra thoughtful for me. The bed was huge and the whole hotel vibe was lush, decorated with rich greens, reds and golds throughout. It was slightly out of the main hub of the city and about 15 minutes walk back from the centre and I would definitely stay here again.
The city of Venice has so much to offer from historical sites, backstreet restaurants and of course the beautiful canals. There is definitely a buzz during the day which was perhaps a bit busy for me but I can hardly complain as it was the peak of the summer holidays. St Marks Square was the busiest and most touristy area we visited and we didn’t stay for long, I would say about 10 minutes just to see it. We had also been told it was the most expensive for food and drink so we didn’t want to get caught up in that. Also, if I were wanting a gondola ride I would perhaps go back a few streets and off of the main stretch to get some better deals with less waiting time.
The food in Venice was definitely beat my estimations. Our favourite meal of the whole holiday was in Verona. We had the special Amerone Risotto and Amerone wine, both recommended to us and an antipasti of duck. Of course there was dessert this being chocolate and peaches. Gorgeous in taste just couldn’t be finished after such good portion sizes! For our other main meals we found restaurants a few streets back from the touristy areas where they were both delicious and slightly cheaper. Pizza was a main choice for Mr LB and different kinds of pasta for myself.
Travel in and around Venice is mainly done on foot. This wasn’t an issue for us at all as the city isn’t huge. The only thing I will remember next time is to take luggage with wheels as I had taken a vintage suitcase and those things are heavy. Venetian streets are narrow and we didn’t find it too far in between locations of what we wanted to see and where we went. Gondolas are also available but these seem to be used mainly as a tourist attraction with the locals using their own boats as personal transport. We got the train to Verona which was very easy (you just have to get the fast train rather than the slow one!) and the bus was available for airport transfers.
There’s no doubt we had a great holiday and would go again. Next time we’ve both agreed to stay in Verona as the sights are equally beautiful but it is a fair bit quieter and a little less touristy. The busiest place in Verona was Juliet’s balcony with a lot of people in a small space. Oh and being a Brit the final thing I have to say is the weather in Italy was absolutely gorgeous!