Today we had Marco, a wonderful private driver take us around the Tuscany region. We visited Montepulciano, Pienza and Siena.
All three of us wanted to see and experience Tuscany (and make comparisons to France's Provence.) Siena was chosen by Michelle as she has been wanting to see the town for several years and Montepulciano was chosen by Sophie because she wanted to see the town where The Twilight Saga: New Moon was filmed (the movie does not come out until November 19th, but filming in Italy just completed.) We also did extra research on Montepulciano of course, and could not wait to see the town that was perched on the very top of a very steep hill that prevented cars from entering it's gates. Pienza was chosen by Marco, who insisted on visiting the tiny town. Lonely Planet states that if you walk to the cathedral, turn 360 degrees, you have now seen everything there is to see in Pienza. This is kind of true, but we had a wonderful lunch there. It is famous for a Pecorino cheese and the entire city was designed by Pope Pius II.
Nothing disappointed. Michelle was a bit let down by Siena, simply because she had pictured a town with more trees, but found it very interesting all the same. Tuscany really is very beautiful and it's impossible to pick just a few pictures, so I've gone ahead and chosen the boring ones since nothing will really be able to capture this wonderful region.
Siena main square.
The town of Montepulciano from afar.
A far away shot of Sophie in the doorway which is about to become very famous (We stopped in this town first and were very early to arrive. Even as we left there were cars arriving with people tumbling out to take similar pictures. We took about a thousand and were increidbly lucky to get our square to our selves for about 15 minutes. Residents have already noticed a large increase in tourists all wanting the same photos in the doorway and town square. Our driver also wanted to know if were yet another family making the trek at demands of children - of course!)