Movies, newspapers, magazines, international tour guides. Each has dedicated at least dozens of pages to describing the richness and beauty of the enchanted Tuscany, the centrallylocated Italian region.

This region has always represented the best solution to start again and move on for young ladies with broken hearts  who are looking for real love or to forget the person who  was supposed to be Mr Right.

An example? Raise your  hand those who  have never watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun in which  the American citizen, Diane Lane, the protagonist of the story, meets in Cortona, a village not far  from Arezzo, the handsome Raoul Bova, Marcello in the movie, after  her previous relationship has ended.  But love is not the only protagonist of the script.  The brave choice of Diane Lane to buy a casale, an ancient farmhouse, also helps the viewer to be introduced to the protagonist’s life, which deals with the new countryside chapter of her existence, which   has nothing in common with her past.

Consequently, movies like this one, and many others books have increased the interest of tourists from all over the world who come to this place looking for the same kind of emotions and well-being. Of course, not only Tuscany is known for its Bella Vita, but also the rest of the country, which symbolises the perfect equation between relaxation and delight.

Despite Roma, the capital, holding the record in terms of number of visitors, Tuscany has always been recognised as one of the top Italian destinations and this is due to its historic and cultural heritage, its charming landscape and its renowned gastronomy.

Even though it has been literally assaulted by Germans and English people who have bought the majority of private villas and ancient residences, Tuscany still keeps its mythical fame of being a timeless region where the mix of hills, wine, medieval villages and marvellous countryside make up the perfect frame for relaxing holidays.

The Land of Sun and Flowers. How can anyone not fall in love with Tuscany?!
The Land of Sun and Flowers. How can anyone not fall in love with Tuscany?!

A standard tour of Tuscany must include at least one of the famous cities such as Firenze, Arezzo, but, to be honest, this region also holds a treasure in terms of beauty found in small villages  known as borgo.

As describing this destination requires pages on pages, we decided to focus on a 48 hour tour in the suburbs of Pisa, the ancient maritime republic and Lucca, which both house a copious number of villages and adorable breathtaking panorama ideal for romantic tours.

 

San Miniato, The Tasty Experience

San Miniato
San Miniato

San Miniato, a suburb located in the district of Pisa, is a real example of medieval art combined with gastronomic knowhow.

Generally mentioned for its Rocca di Federico II, a stronghold constructed in the thirteenth century at the request of Federico II from Svevia.  It was supposed to control the transit of the area from Pisa to Firenze and the so-called Francigena route.

The village is worth a visit, especially in November, when the Fiera del tartufo take place, welcoming thousands of gourmands wishing to taste local dishes such as lardo spalmabile, (spreadable lard) cheese, truffle flavoured canapés and delicious wine.

In the city centre, a magical atmosphere can be savoured as hundreds of banquets and thousands of coloured light bulbs adorn the immaculate borgo.

As San Miniato is located on the top of a hill, the village offers a bus shuttle service to reach the centre in a few minutes, but the use of it is not the best solution.

As the location is worth a passeggiata, do not forget comfortable shoes and a bit of bravery to deal with the typical cold November wind.  You will not regret your choice.

 

Sant’Andrea di Compito, The City of Water and Mills

Sant'Andrea di Compito
Sant’Andrea di Compito

Another example of an enchanting borgo is Sant’Andrea di Compito, a village located not far from Lucca.

This borgo, situated on the slope of Serra Mountain, is a delightful dreamy place surrounded by mills and rivulets of pure water, well-finished courtyards and alleys nestled into the   hillside.  Along with Pieve, Sant’Andrea forms the Borgo delle Camelie, renowned for the Antiche Camelie della Lucchesia exhibition which  is held in March at weekends.

Camelie
Camelie

Camelie are centuries-old plants, which remind us of the Middle East, with medical properties  that are believed to be very efficient. For example, the green tea produced by using this plant is very effective in the treatment of free radicals and the oil produced in   the manufacturing process of camelie is also a great solution for fighting bacteria and it can substitute antibiotics.

During the exhibition, the borgo became an open-air gallery and it is also possible to visit photographic exhibitions and taste the first and only Italian tea and to visit the Camelieto, a natural park which gathers more than 500 hundred camelie specimen.

Both villages look like a real film set, where magic, charm and beauty make up an enchanting atmosphere. Where peace and relaxation stimulate creativity, imagination and positivity. Whether you are in a relationship or not, these villages will make you fall in love.

But, if you are not in a relationship while visiting Tuscany, don’t forget what I am going to tell you.

Once upon a time, somebody told me that people love movies and books because they allow them to dream and to believe that everything is possible, reinforcing the fact that everyone deserves a fairy tale. This person also told me that it was such a pity that no one tries to act in life like actors do, fighting for their dreams and for their love.

Well, this thought has always been an inspiration to me, a kind of motto on which I have based my future and my choices. Especially because  I am convinced that we only have one life and the best gift that we can give to ourselves is to be what we really want, and not what people or society expect us to be.

 

Photos: BR Archive

Certainly, the happy ending is not always guaranteed, but if the fairy tale does not happen and if movies do not become reality, it doesn’t matter.

In the end, Tuscany might not to be the best place to spend a romantic weekend and neither the right place to magically find love, as, of course, Italy is not a marriage agency, even If art directors like to represent it like this. But it is absolutely the perfect destination to find yourself again and to build a lasting  relationship with yourself, the most important being, above all.

Alessia Bottone
Alessia Bottone is a foreign correspondent for the BALTIC REVIEW and italian newspapers. She is an italian writer and journalist.