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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.