I’ve been to Italy twice already and fell in love with its charm, people, food, wine, landscape, diversity, history, and nature… I can go on forever!
This September I decided to explore a new side of it and go on a road trip for our honeymoon. We started with the Amalfi coast; Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Capri, went to Napoli then moved to Tuscany and stayed in a magical small village called Cortona and ended it in Florence (my favorite city on earth!) It was perfect!
Stayed at Villa Di Piazzano in Cortona
The hotel is amazing! So charming and welcoming! It’s an old, typical Tuscan villa renovated a couple of years ago. The gardens, landscape and scenery are unbelievable. You’d think it’s fake or painted! The food there is incredible! You can even ask for your private cooking class with the chef Gabriella.
Cortona is well known for its wine, you’ll find yourself surrounded by endless hills of vines and authentic wineries. The best one to visit is Avignonesi, they have the best red wine in the region. Their passion for wine makes the tour and tasting really special
In your suitcase
If you’re on a road trip, don’t take suitcases and heavy luggage, it’s too tiring… make sure to take a big backpack with:
1) Winter sweater / jacket
4) Camera – go analog 😉
5) Walking shoes
Dined at My favorite restaurant is a tiny place in Florence called La Prosciutteria. It’s like nothing you’ve ever imagined, since it’s neither a restaurant nor a café… it’s a small space where a family or wine, cheese and charcuterie makers serve you fresh and homemade products. You can even buy anything you like from there.
We ordered their specialty, the wood platter: they’ll serve you more than 7 kinds of charcuterie and cheeses with sun dried tomatoes and a basket of bread. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a table to share with someone, if not, like plenty of others, you can enjoy your delicious meal with a bottle of homemade wine on the pavements of beautiful Florence, which makes the experience even nicer!
Shopped If you’re into vintage stuff, wallpapers, letters, letterpress, old movies, newspapers etc.… you’ll love UB . It’s pretty hidden you won’t find it unless you’re looking for it, a friend of ours recommended it and thank God he did!
Diary The best thing we did in Cortona was taking a private cooking class with Gabriella the chef of Villa Di Piazzano. Waaaww! If you happen to be there don’t miss it! 1st of all she loves our food, and us Lebanese, she has friends who live here in Beirut. The class starts around 11 in the cutest little rustic kitchen, in the backyard of the hotel. Gabriella begins by telling us about herself, what she loves and her passion for food in general… once we got to know each other, we went to her private garden where she plants everything she needs to cook, it’s like we visited the vegetables heaven! You’ll find huge zucchini flowers, rosemary, basil, tomatoes, eggplants etc.… the perfect fresh and organic ingredients to cook anything you like. Around a bottle of red wine and the perfect aged Pecorino cheese, we began learning her grandma’s tips… don’t underestimate the power of grandmas, the outcome was mouthwatering! We cooked a 5-course meal:
Traditional bruschetta, grilled eggplants with fresh ricotta, porcini risotto, pork tenderloin with lemon and orange and finally the famous Italian biscotti…
So basically Cortona is all about superb food and wine!
The main character of Cortona is its medieval architecture; a walk in the Piazza Garibaldi is a must where you’ll enjoy Tuscany’s charming tiny roads, houses and churches.
You can even visit the villa Bramasole built in the 1500’s where the movie Under the Tuscan sun was filmed.
Tips Enjoy every random encounter! These are the funniest and most memorable moments of the trip. A road trip requires a lot of efforts, walking, trains etc.… if you’re looking for a relaxing trip, it’s better you go to 1 or 2 regions to avoid all that fuss especially that trains in Italy aren’t always on time *cough*.
I loved the difference between the people of the south and the north, they’re different, their food is different and even the scenery is. I loved experiencing both sides in 1 trip.
They also love honeymooners so if you’re planning yours there you’re in for nice treats!
Mode of travel We flew Lufthansa to get to Italy and took internal trains to go from 1 region to another.