expat, italy, nature, tips, travel, tuscany, Uncategorized

Hiking is ( my ) version of free therapy

Everyone has their version of therapy whether it be yoga, reading, playing puppet-master..whatever floats your boat and eases up the stresses of daily life. Mine just happens to be hiking, or rather getting out of the center of  my adoptive city of Florence and really discover new places in Italy.

captain planet strikes again

Luckily I have a great group of friends who feel the same way and about once a week or so, in addition to our wine and girls nights – we try to often get out and plan excursions outside of Florence. One of our recent ‘finds’ was in the province of Prato (a very underrated destination). On this particular occasion, we decided to visit a Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano.  We had a great time touring the beautiful villa and exploring the outdoor areas. I highly recommend taking the time to visit this place if you want a pretty cool diversion from Firenze.

Seriously whether it’s exploring Prato or just walking around Fiesole, we pack good food , get our sneakers on and just get away for awhile. I must say ,we are lucky that some of us have access to cars ( lets be real, our boyfriends/husbands cars.. ) so we can actually get where we want to be but you can absolutely take a Sita bus out to Chianti or Prato in the surrounding area and have a fab time ( pack a bottle of wine, some cheese, fruit and bread plus blanket and your all set! ). ok maybe a gps as well.

For those who want to do some serious hiking.. click here  for some good trails around Tuscany. We are itching to try the one from Fiesole to Compiobbi near where t-mans parents live.. My absolute favorite getway is in Acone ( or rather Monte Giovi ) which is about six kilometers or so above Rufina and is where t-mans grandmother was from. We first started going because of a great little trattoria ( its literally just called  RISTORANTE PIZZERIA ACONE ) with  boasts cheap and amazing  simple food.

the special “pasta aconese” that we are obsessed with

We continued going because Monte Giovi is gorgeous and honestly, there is nothing else like it to me..when I am up there, nothing else matters , not visa renewals, job contracts, cultural misunderstandings,  it just leaves my mind in those few hours.  I’ll provide some visual proof below..To your right is the special pasta to which the place in Acone stillwon’t let us in on,   aka how they make it…seriously that recipe is on LOCK DOWN and the same waiter we have every time we visit just giggles at our repeated requests for some clue to how this nectar of the gods is made.. plus the cheese plate is pretty awesome.. think 4 types of cheese accompanied by local honey, last time we got honey with truffles! not to mention their ever changing array of desserts.. check it out the fun below

dessert “Acone style”

sunset on monte giovi

the peak or “cima” of Monte Giovi in February 2011

heading up monte giovi above rufina..

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  1. Avatar
    31.01.2012 at 14:39

    never been to italy but from what I see it is a stunning country. loving the blog….and the photos.

    1. Avatar
      31.01.2012 at 14:48

      thank you 🙂 , it really is. Its a land of hills, rivers, sea and lakes.. and everything in between ( throw in some corruption and inefficiency while your at it ) but things HAVE been changing and I appreciate every day I get to live here..

  2. Avatar
    From a Tuscan Villa
    01.02.2012 at 11:19

    Beautiful photos. And I want that dessert!

  3. Avatar

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

    1. Avatar
      25.06.2012 at 8:55

      thank you :). My blog is a wordpress.com blog ( aka free) , I may sometime in the future buy my own domain but I wanted to see how much I would actually write. The theme I chose was one of many available so if you go to wordpress.com you can make one super easy! good luck!! (wordpress rocks)

  4. Avatar
    29.08.2013 at 16:36

    I was wondering if you have any more hiking suggestions closer to Florence?

    1. Avatar
      29.08.2013 at 19:00

      I would say that likely Fiesole is the closest, or you could always ‘hike’ to Piazzale Michelangelo and Forte di Belvedere

  5. Avatar
    30.09.2013 at 22:36

    I have just arrived in Florence where I am intending to stay for nine months I have just found your website and will stay in touch with your blog. I would appreciate your advice on if you have any on mature women alone in Florence getting a social life. I am working my way around various sites, but nothing beats personal recommendation many thanks pat