No doubt Tuscany, with its breathtaking panoramas, excellent wine and exquisite food, is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. There are so many things to see and to do that it was a real challenge to plan our one day we had to visit Tuscany. When researching both Dustin and I were certain that we absolutely had to visit San Gimignano – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They call San Gimignano the “Manhattan of Tuscany”. San Gimignano rises on the top of a hill, 400m above sea level. The patrician families who controlled the town built around 72 tower-houses (some as high as 50 m) as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 have survived, San Gimignano is the most perfectly preserved medieval Italian city. It’s not just the towers that have made the city famous; the entire city is a magical flashback in time.
The views from the top of the wall, which we did climbed, are absolutely incredible. The Tuscany you always dreamed of!
After spending a good part of our afternoon in a picturesque, medieval hill-town in the lush Tuscan countryside, we jumped in the car and drove in another awe-inspiring Medieval and Renaissance hill-town, Montepulciano. We thought that Montepulciano was the perfect place for us to spend the night, and it sure was!
We stayed in one of the oldest hotel in town, Albergo Il Marzocco. The hotel is within the town walls, it’s in a quiet location and the staff really made us feel at home. After taking a shower we ventured out in search of a restaurant. I really wanted Dustin to try the quintessential Florentine dish, the famous and colossal Bistecca Alla Fiorentina or Florentine Steak. While walking we got inspired and vowed by this adorable restaurant, Ristorante Degli Archi, that was tucked back between buildings and had a sign that made us smile (Inside Wonderful View) and sold us on having dinner there.
This was no doubt our favorite restaurant we’ve ever been to and the greatest meal experience of our life. The place is elegant and oozes love. The arches are what make the interior so stunning! The deep red walls, brick work, paintings, tapestries, and lamps make this dining room feel so welcoming and super romantic. It felt like we were in someone’s living room.
Montepulciano’s fields produce a violet-scented, orange-speckled ruby wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Dustin chose a 2009 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano bottle for this special meal.
The staff were amazing and super friendly.
After dinner the owner Pier sang to us. Seriously. It was one of the single greatest moments in our life.
To me a good meal is more than just tasty food, it’s an experience that should be remembered. I can safely say with absolute certainty we will remember our time at Degli Archi for the rest of my life. Thank you Pier! After dinner we walked around, got gelato and enjoyed the town at night.
Next is gonna be the last post of our road trip.