Summer: time to travel. The visit we paid after a long time to our Tuscan cousin was just a mere excuse to hit the road again with our caravan. You wouldn’t miss a chance to come back in the cradle of Renaissance, would you?
The heap of books and guides about this city couldn’t fit in the Ancient Library of Alexandria, so I am not going to bother with artistic or historical details. It is a story difficult to sum up in few lines. We better offer the point of view of a simple, curious traveller who just arrived in town, and naturally heads to some basics: Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria.
Did you feel the breath of Medieval age with a hint of patronage and nobility? For sure we did.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have that much time to spare, so we just kept on wandering long enough to enjoy a poetic sunset on the Arno river. Of course, the massive flow of tourists makes difficult to imagine the life of these streets in other ages, but you got to take advantage of the wide range of perspectives, because in Florence all of them are worth a look.
As the sun went down, we moved a bit out of the beaten tracks. To get the real thing while travelling, there’s always to rely on the locals. In this case, our cousin, who took the lead with bravery and drove us to the wonderful town of Certaldo.
In this very evocative medieval hamlet a spectacular event was going on: Mercantia. At its 5th edition, this festival is a celebration of buskers and street arts. Young musicians, painters, mimes, masks and every sort of colorful character gathers here to ignite several evenings of celebration, bringing the old town to new life.
Tuscany, though, it is not all about art and folklore. The smooth hills it is plunged into are considered among the most poetic, romantic and inspiring landscapes of Italy.
We went to admire the so called “Balze” di Valdarno, likely to be considered nothing less than the backdrop of the Leonardo’s “La Gioconda”!
This brief but intense trip to Tuscany was just the beginning of our summer journey.
Stay tuned, more destinations are to come soon!
Photography: Enrico and Matteo Fabi.