Two weeks in the beautiful hills of Tuscany.
Saturday 7 October 1995 - Saturday 21 October 1995
More holidays, this time a trip to the hills in Tuscany. This was with a company called Small World Travel (now defunct) who specialised in small group tours to beautiful parts of Europe. The hotel was a small villa, sleeping about 20 people and was situated between the villages of Doninni and Tosi.
The villa was an old stone farm house converted into a small hotel. It had a nice little pool area just to the left (although October is getting a bit chilly to be swimming).
The Villa Chiassaia.
The other side of the villa, taken from the olive grove.
A pretty good looking sunset, taken from the grounds of the villa.
Malou, the villa's moggy.
A five minute walk up the hill was the Villa Pittiana, a large and imposing hotel. We could use the facilities including the restaurant and pool, although their pool was no warmer than ours.
The Villa Pittiana.
In the hills above the villa was the Vallombrosa Abbey. It is a decent hike through the forests.
The forests on the way up to the Abbey.
We went into Florence a couple of times using the local train service. Beautiful city but lots of tourists.
Santa Croce in Florence.
The Pitti Palace, Florence.
The next day trip was to Assisi in the neighbouring province of Perugia. Two years after these photos were taken the town was badly damaged in the September 1997 earthquake.
A general view of Assisi.
A timeless view over the city (with the exception of the cranes).
The back streets of Assisi.
The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi.
The next day trip was to San Gimignano, a fortified medieval town in Tuscany. It is famed for it fortified towers, of which 14 remain.
The classic view of the town.
Two of the towers in San Gimignano.
The narrow streets of the town.
The touring around Tuscany continued with a visit to the city of Siena. The city is famed for the annual horse race, the Palio de Siena, around the Piazza del Campo.
The Piazza del Campo.
The suburbs of Siena.
The last day trip was out to Lucca. This is yet another ancient Italian city, founded by the Etruscans and becoming a Roman colony in 180BC.
The tower on the Duomo di San Martino in Lucca.
The Duomo di San Martino.
The ramparts of Lucca, now a pedestrian walkway around the entire old town.
Summary - In all, this was a great trip. The scenery and cities is this part of Europe are fantastic and the company was very good. The weather for the entire trip was beautiful and sunny. I met new friends and had a great time.