Tuscany Region, Italy | San Gimignano and Pisa
Well, hello there! It's been a busy season of wonderful portraits all over England and Europe, so I decided to take a personal day off of editing... To edit! I'm lucky that what I love doing keeps me so busy, but it also rarely affords me time to stop and edit our own adventures. Yesterday, I spent the day editing our trip to Tuscany. This is a region I've been dying to go to, so when we flew over to photograph a beautiful marriage proposal I was overjoyed! We decided to stay an extra day to take in the sights ourselves and visited the medieval town of San Gimignano and Pisa! We wanted to get over to Florence since it was so close, but we decided to save that beautiful city for a less-rainy trip.
We caught a Ryanair flight into Pisa, grabbed our rental car, and took off! We rented an Airbnb in Certaldo. It actually ended up being a hotel! We had a late flight, so we arrived after everything had closed for the night, but the wonderful staff kept the kitchen open late so we could have something to eat before we headed to bed. The next morning we hit up their amazing breakfast buffet before heading out to explore the area before the big proposal!
My favorite thing to do on our countryside road trips is wander around to see what photographic opportunities present themselves. We had noticed a beautiful lake and on the drive in the night before so we headed back in that direction. Because of the rain the night before, we were afforded with one of the longest golden hours I've ever seen, and were able to take advantage of so many locations with beautiful light!
After grabbing my shot here, we continued our drive back towards Pisa for about 15 minutes, grabbing what landscapes we could in such a small area (which was EASY, considering how quickly the scenery changes).
After our sunrise wanderings, it was time to head up to where the proposal was taking place, Castello della Paneretta. We wanted to get there early to scout and explore, and I'm so glad we did! We had the entire place to ourselves since it's normally closed on Sundays, so being able to get uninterrupted shots was amazing! We fell in love with the puppy on site, Aria, who was our tour guide, and even helped with some gardening!
The next day was our free day, and because it was calling for rain in Florence we decided to venture out to San Gimignano. The city is surrounded by 13th century walls, and the charm of the city isn't lost on anyone. We spent a few hours wandering (what we do best if you haven't noticed yet), found a craft beer and wild boar stew at Echoes. It's a popular little town with loads of local artists and shops to buy wild boar and wine!
Next stop was our final stop of the trip-Pisa! Pisa is the perfect little half-day stop for an iconic Italian landmark. Basically what that means is that the famous leaning tower is in the same little square as the cathedral and Piazza dei Miracoli. We went late in the day and were able to buy tickets to the duomo and cathedral and walk right now. There was a line to go in into the leaning tower, so we skipped that. We enjoyed Pisa more than we thought we would! I probably had the most fun counting how many tourists were holding the tower up, holding it in their hand, and all of those other wonderful obligatory Pisa poses! We stayed at The Lemon House, which was a ten minute walk from the landmarks. Our host was incredible, hands-down one of the best AirBnB hosts we've had! He offered us a map with the best routes to take to get to all of the activity and also gave us the best food recommendations for the neighborhood. Well, we'll have to take him on his word for it because this particular neighborhoods treat Mondays like the rest of Italy treats Sundays and most places were closed. Everything was close to the apartment though, and the reviews were great!
^^ The detail on the cathedral was gorgeous!