After wrapping up the retreat we headed North and spent the next week driving through Tuscany in route to Rome. We stopped in Lucca, Florence, Radda in Chianti, Siena, Cortona, Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoreggio. The scenery was spectacular and Anders had way too much fun driving like an Italian. Along the way we soaked in the historic architecture and ornate churches before collapsing in bed each night with aching feet and full hearts. We finished our trip with three days in Rome, taking in all the obligatory sights.
It felt good to travel again, just the two of us, with no plans and little responsibility, and to focus on learning to live in the moment. We’ll see if we can carry that lesson into our daily lives at home. In the meantime, I’ve compiled a little list from our trip of our favorite places to stay, eat and shop.
16th Century property in Puglia with elegant, comfortable rooms, a pool and a stunning landscape full of beautiful details.
One of a kind clothing made by hand on an olive wood loom in Lecce, Puglia.
Great stop for a cappuccino and a loaf of Lucca’s signature breakfast pastry with raisins and anise.
Organic, seasonal gelato in Florence.
The first really good meal we had in Italy. Great service, perfect hand made pasta dishes and fun salads (we had one with pear, parmesan, honey, and turnips). Siena.
Fancier place in Cortona with good service and a great wine list. The highlight of our meal was the wine (which was light and refreshing and tasted like passionfruit) and the cheese plate that came with a dozen different house made preserves and three kinds of honey. We had a blast pairing the different cheeses and preserves.
Stand up pizza joint where they cut your pizza with scissors. Tons of topping options and really nice, flavorful crust. Rome.
Amazing deli in Rome with quality bread, tortas, cheese, meat, olives, preserves etc. Everything here is beautifully arranged and presented and the variety is mind blowing.
The first really good bread we had in Italy (everything else was flavorless and stale). This place is super small, but has a great cheese and antipasto menu. We had amazing black olives that had been cured with big chunks of lemon rind and herbs. Rome.
Small cookie shop on a quiet street in Trastevere with an amazing assortment of typical Italian cookies. So many choices. We ate ours on the steps of a nearby church.
Really good cappuccinos served at a long marble counter right near the Pantheon.