San Gimignano surprised me. I didn’t know there was an area as beautiful as that around Pienza. However, San Gimignano is filled with beautiful landscapes. The gorgeous views seduced me into slowing down and taking a bunch more photos.
See all the picturesque landscapes below. The next time I go to Tuscany, I will plan on splitting my time between the Pienza area and the San Gimignano area rather than going to Siena.
What’s your favorite area of Tuscany? I hope to go back many times and keep exploring.
Pienza provides charm galore and makes for the perfect hub for your visit to Tuscany. Not only will you find amazing landscapes in the area surrounding the town, but you’ll also have a chance to explore the historical town, see and photograph charming flower-filled doorways and enjoy delicious food at a number of restaurants.
Where to Stay
I had a wonderful stay at the Piccolo Hotel La Valle on the edge of town (outside of the ZTL). I really appreciated the helpfulness of the staff at the desk. Not only did my room and the patio (see photo below) have a gorgeous view, it was also a very convenient to walk into town at night for dinner. I like that feature a lot. After a day spent driving around scouting photography locations, it was nice to have a short walk before and after dinner. Plus, if you’re traveling solo as I do, you might like to know, I felt totally safe walking alone at night back to the hotel.
How to Get to Pienza You can rent a car at the Termini Train Station and drive north out of Rome on the expressway. It’s a little nerve wracking getting to the freeway, but once you get there, it’s just like driving on expressways here at home. Occasionally you have to stop and pay toll by cash or credit. Conveniently, there are gas stations with cafes along the way just like rest stops here at home.
When you get to Pienza, it’s pretty easy to avoid the ZTL traffic zone. It’s well marked, and there are a few public parking areas at the edge of town.
Where to Eat
Buca delle Fate – This restaurant had the most delicious gluten-free pasta. I tried several varieties including the truffle pasta. They were all really good. Plus, I had a steak with arugula that was quite nice. I also appreciated the kind service of the staff.
La Mensa del Conte – This restaurant is very knowledgeable about gluten free dining. I enjoyed both the pasta and steak here. They have a very good olive oil with peppers in it, but the highlight was the gluten free cheesecake served in a small jar. So good!