Dulci Edge is a freelance art director and native New Yorker based in San Francisco, but more often than not you’ll find her traveling the world, chronicling her many adventures on her website, The Far and Near. Here, she shares her photography from a recent trip to Tuscany, where she captured the best beaches, hotels, and sunsets.
My husband and I live to travel, so when it came time to plan our babymoon (I’m actually 7 months pregnant in this photo!) we knew we wanted to go big and do the kind of trip that would be next to impossible with a baby. So we flew to Rome, rented a teensy Fiat and roadtripped our way through Tuscany planning the trip as we went.
Our first stop was L’Andana, a beautiful hotel in the hills of Tuscany in a little fishing town called Castiliglone della Pescia. These days with a 4 month old, sleeping in is a thing of the past, so I have fond memories of long, slow mornings spent in this bed before heading down to the patio for double espresso and cornetto (an italian pastry with hints of orange).
The ancient village of Castiligone della Pescia sits high on a hilltop, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Here you’ll find narrow, cobblestone streets and beautiful ancient stonework.
The Tuscan Coast, known as Maremma, is an often overlooked area of Italy. It lacks the sparkle of hot spots like Positano, and also the crowds. Here you’ll find Romans spending the summer weekends sprawled out on sunbeds then tucking into giant bowls of spaghetti vongole at the beachside cafes, making it pretty easy to “do as the Romans do.”
The dirt road to Fiumara Beach is full of potholes and located just outside a nature preserve; you really have to know what you’re looking for. If you’re lucky enough to snag a reservation, dinner is served on the beach under palapa style huts with stunning views at sunset. Get the lobster.
The drive from the coast inland towards Montalcino gives you a true sense of Italy’s rural scope and the argiturismo culture it breeds (guests can stay at working farms and participate in harvests). With the help of a rented wifi hotspot and Google Maps, we drove down ambling country roads often hitting “traffic”, like when we got stuck behind this herd of sheep, slowly making their way from one grazing field to the next.
The 1,000 year old village of Il Borro was purchased by the Ferragamo family and completely revitalized into a unique accommodation experience (our “room” was actually the old candlemakers cottage) with a topnotch spa and restaurant to boot.
Walking off a very large meal in the charming village of Il Borro. The village is nestled in the center of a 700 acre estate producing honey, jam and of course, olive oil for the restaurant.
The most unique part of Il Borro is that it’s still an actual village with residents who have called it home for generations. The tiny piazza was beautiful midday when the afternoon light would drip in and the Italian nonnas would gather to talk around the water fountain.
The road is calling, so it’s back in the Fiat (with my trust Away carry-on!) on onto the next stop…
Italy in Summer is literally the most magical time for food; everything is delicious and bright. Farm stands dot the side of the road where buckets of tomatoes wait destined to become an afternoon caprese salad. You will never look at a grocery store tomato the same way again.
We arrived at Castello Banfi in the hills of Montalcino just in time to watch the sun set over the Tuscan countryside. This is prime time for aperitivo, the Italian ritual of a pre-dinner drink and snack...further proof that the Italians have it all figured out.
I can now confirm that driving through Tuscany in the Summertime is one of life’s greatest pleasures The region is littered with fields of sunflowers, like this one, that seem to stretch on for miles. Pulling over to take photos is strongly encouraged.
Hotel Il Pellicano is the height of glamour, playing host to cinema stars and tycoons since it opened in the 1960’s. The iconic rocky beach is accessible via cliffside elevator and the people watching is not to be missed. Located along the rugged coast of Monte Argentario,
The vibe at Il Pellicano is straight out of a Slim Aarons photograph. Lunch is spaghetti with lobster on the sundeck, followed by an afternoon dip in the sea. Aperitivo can’t be far off. La Dolce Vita indeed.
We ended our trip at the rustic farmhouse-style Locanda Rossa in Capalbio, an area known for raising prized cattle right near the ocean. It was a tough choice between this pool and the beach, so we made sure to do both. With the sun not setting till nearly 8pm our days felt long and leisurely. We sat poolside snacking on olives grown on the estate, reflecting on our time it Italy and vowed to return next summer. This time, with the baby!