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Under the Tuscan sun followed by turquoise colors of the sea and white sand beaches

Tuscany, place where, beside romantic hills and medieval cities, you can enjoy white beaches and turqoise sea

Volterra

Many are already familiar with the saying “under the sun of Tuscany” which came from the famous book of the same name. The first association in memory of Tuscany are, definitely, green hills, medieval towns, cute Italian villas with pool. But it is less known that when you visit Tuscany you can also refresh yourself on the white beaches of this irresistible region with a view of the turquoise sea, almost like the Maldives.

Rosignano Solvay, Toscana

As we are located in Milan, a visit to Tuscany is ideal for an extended weekend of 3-4 days. From Milan to the Tuscan coast takes only 3 hours by car, and from Zagreb you will need about 7 hours drive. We chose the small town of Vada which is known for its white beaches – Spiagge Bianche. This part of Italy is full of beautiful accommodation that you will find hard to resist – sweetly decorated villas in the Italian style, blended into the romantic nature, certainly deserve to be on your bucket list. The prices of such idyllic nights are affordable, ranging from € 100 for two people (bed and breakfast) and more.

Our priority for the weekend was the beach and the sea, and our accommodation was about 10 minutes by car from several beaches with white sand and turquoise sea. The good thing is that you have the option to choose between wild beaches, where you have to stock up with your umbrella, towel and some refreshment, and you can also choose private beaches that are fully equipped with deck chairs, umbrellas, showers and offer food and drinks in beach bars. For 2 deck chairs and an umbrella you will pay approximately 20 € for the whole day.

When you are in Tuscany, beside the beautiful nature, you should enjoy the famous “aperitivo” served from 4 to 8 PM, the excellent food offer and, of course, the offer of various wines, of which, for this region, the most famous is Chianti. Villa Graziani, where we were accommodated, in its vicinity also has its own restaurant and enoteca Graziani. If you find yourself nearby, be sure to try their Italian delicacies and wines, you won’t go wrong. Prices range from 8 € for the first piato to 18 € for the second piato, but considering the portions, one of the two will be enough.

When you are already on the Tuscan coast I recommend a trip to one of the many medieval towns on the nearby hills. You’ve probably already visited Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca, if you haven’t, they’re all an hour from the coast. We chose the not-so-famous but spectacular Volterra. One morning or afternoon is enough for this trip because it is only 45 minutes away from Vada.

Volterra

This small stone town is located at over 530 m above sea level, and will delight you with its beautiful streets, imposing walls, small shops and cafes that entice with their fantastic shop windows behind which you can see the effort, work and love for what they do and offer, full is of charming detail, and the view that extends from it is simply breathtaking.

Handcraft jewllery

Fortress Medice is the most common motif from Volterra, and in the photographs it looks so powerful, imposing, that taking photos with a view of the fort is an indispensable part of the visit. Located on a dominant hill fort embraced the small town like in a fairytale. Unlike many other medieval ones, the fort here has been completely preserved, the same as it was in 1474, when Lorenzo de ‘Medici the Magnificent, the then ruler of the Republic of Florence, completed the construction of another part, called the New Fortress.

One of the entrance to Volterra

Fans of archeological remains will love the place because there are several great archeological sites. The most visited is the imposing Roman amphitheater on the edge of town, excavated some sixty years ago. It was built at the end of the 1st century BC, and the ideal terrain was chosen, so that about 3,500 people could sit on the “stands”. It is even known that the construction was financed by members of the wealthy Ceacin family, mostly consuls Gaj and Aula, about which records were found on one of the preserved pillars. Every year, the international festival “Ombra della Sera” is held on a huge plateau, founded by the famous actor Simone Migliorini.

Teatro Romano, Volterra

Another record of the contstructors of the amphitheater has been preserved, in the Guarnacci Museum, in the city itself, in the Tangassi Palace. It is one of the most famous Etruscan museums in the world and one of the oldest museums in all of Europe, founded in 1776.

Palazzo dei Priori, Volterra

Recently, Volterra has been celebrated by the film Twilight Saga, whose plot is located in this small town at one point.

On the way back to Vada, have a snack in one of the many agritourisms that you can find on the way, and in addition to the gastronomic offer, almost everyone will delight you with its home decor and the view. If you like it and want to stay another day in Volterra I recommend Borgo Pignano. You will definitely need a few more days to indulge in this irresistible blend of luxury for the eyes, soul and taste.

Milan for the weekend:

Bars and restaurants you must visit!

As I am often staying in Milan, many friends ask me for advice what to see, what restaurants, bars, and places they shouldn’t miss. I have already written about the sightseeing of Milan in the past postings, but I will be happy to share the top locations where to eat and where to enjoy the best coffee and aperitifs.

Milan from Expo 2015 becomes a city where every day a new cool place, worth visit pops up, but these are my favorites:

Pave

Breakfast is the most important part of the day, so start it at a good location. One of the bars that will delight you with the offer and decoration is definitely Pave. Except the perfect coffee, it offers a great choice of breakfast – from sweet croissants, brownies, to brioches with top quality prosciutto, salmon and all prepared home made with particular attention to the ingredients they use.

brioche with salmon, coffee, croissant

Ceresio 7

This place is definitely everything! You can have an excellent Italian espresso, served with delicious sweets, and enjoy the view of the city in the shade of the pool, and you can always jump in it. If you want to try out the Italian specialities then you can stay for lunch or just come in the evening at the aperitif or pool party. The owners of this area are famous designers Dsquared2 so each detail is carefully selected and styled to fit in space

Morning coffee by the pool, Ceresio7

Miscusi

For lovers of the finest pasta dishes, and acceptable for everyone’s pocket, there is definitely Miscusi’s restaurant. Only home-made pastas are used here, so the taste of each dish is as if they were prepared by real Italian grandma for Sunday lunch. Characteristic decoration, with long tables, invites people to socialise and have fun tasting food. A true Italian way of living – dolce vita!

Ravioli with truffles

Mun – fine asian kitchen

For sushi lovers, Milan has become a real top place. As it grows into a true metropolis, the inhabitants of all races can now be seen here, especially Asians who, with their arrival, enriched the offer of Asian cuisine. I would definitely recommend the Mun restaurant. As it is near Ceresio7, you can combine a sushi dinner with a later drink at the Ceresio 7 rooftop bar.

Sushi dinner

Alfresco

The place that absolutely impressed me lately. An ideal place for a romantic dinner for two or dinner with friends in a pleasant setting and atmosphere. What to point out? Absolutely everything. At first step it will already conquer you by decorating, high windows that give plenty of light in the interior, and a lavish garden decorated with lights that at every season give a special charm. From the food you can try pastas, steak, burgers or seafood specialities, all prepared with a special fusion of flavor and served with style on the plate. Definitely try a drink Moscow Mule, best I have ever tasted.

Dinner in the garden, Alfresco

Radio Rooftop Bar

I’m an absolute fan of rooftop bars, and I enjoyed the most on them in New York. That is why I am happy to be able to enjoy almost the same way in Milan. Apart from Ceresio7, which, I must mention, is for guests with a bit bigger budget, if you want to relax in the food and drink in more acceptable way, certainly worth seeing is Radio Rooftop Bar. When you walk on that terrace you will need a few minute to remind yourself that you are not in New York but in Milan. The view of the city is wonderful, and if you come to the aperitif, you will be painted in gold colour one of the most majestic sunsets. The colours that you will see on the Milan sky at the time of the sunset will take your breath away. This place is great for aperitifs which can later be turned into real clubbing because music is often played by top DJ.

Sunset, Radio Rooftop Bar

The Doping Club

If you are a fan of interior design or interesting photo corners, The Doping Club is the place for you. This club and restaurant is part of the interesting The Yard hotel, and in the same complex is a very creative pizzeria with even more creative name Dirty Gym. Tip is to try everything, and restaurant and clubbing and pizza. You will not make a mistake if you stay longer because visitors are always interesting, from all over the world and the atmosphere is great. Perhaps the best idea is to stay in this hotel that will impress you with a design of the rooms, each room is decorated in the style of a particular sport.

The Doping Club

Amorino

Sugar on top! Milan is famous for its good Italian ice cream, so you can not choose the wrong pastry shop. It will impress you with the variety of flavours they offer because a lot of them you can not taste outside of Italy. From the famous pastry shops there is Grom, Venchi 1878, Done with L’amore. I’m going to point out Amorino, that is really tasty. What will conquer you is the way they serve the ice cream, and it is in the shape of a rose!

Amorino

We came to the end. I’ll just point out once again, I’ve set up my, currently, top selection of bars, restaurants that you need to try, but that’s not all. Milan becomes from day to day a place that does not fit into one article, so I have already wrote on a blog several articles about this, more then, interesting city. To be continued ..

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