Magical is not a word that I just toss around like a bone for our dog. In fact, I don’t like the word at all. It seems too girly and feminine and romantic for my tastes. Montemerano, however, is magical. In every sense of the word. The village is located at the top of a hill just 7km from Saturnia and its natural thermal hot springs, and is the best preserved Medieval village in Maremma. We explored the entire village, had an excellent pizza at the Bar Pizzeria dal Moro, and then went back for some moonlit pics of the main square before returning to Saturnia for the night. My words will never describe the rustic villas in tufo adorned with the lush foliage and flowers of the region, the cobblestone streets, or the beautiful silence of a square after dinner.
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137 Kms from Montemerano
If Rome can be described as the city of ancient wonders then Florence is certainly the city of medieval marvels. Known as the cradle of Renaissance, Florence is also the birthplace of the most famous Italian poet - Dante Alighieri and the city where Leonardo da Vinci underwent his apprenticeship. But what amazed me is how underrated Florence is as a tourist destination. Whereas Rome is a pretty hyped up city, Florence is more of a hidden gem. It does not get the same glory as Rome but is certainly no less glorious. To use a cricket analogy, if Rome can be called Sachin Tendulkar then Florence is definitely Rahul Dravid.
134 Kms from Montemerano
Rome 3 days Youth Hostel: Des Artistes This hostel is clean and close to the train station. Their roof terrace and buffet breakfast is a favourite among the travellers. Hotel: Tuscolana This is a value for money hotel five minutes from the metro line and half a block from the city bus line. There are some graffittis that spoil the neighbourhood's ambiance, but don't let that get to you. It is situated in a safe middle class neighbourhood.
132 Kms from Montemerano
We took a train from Rome and reached Florence on 14 th Apr at approximately 11:30 am. From the Santa Maria Novella station we took a bus to our hotel which was 10-15 minutes away. We stayed at Diva Hotel and our 3 night stay at the hotel was largely comfortable. After checking in and freshening up we took a bus back to the city centre. Florence has a pretty good bus transport system but we didn't use it a lot as most of the important places are within walking distance of each other.
173 Kms from Montemerano
Pisa is 3 hours by train from Florence. After spending a lazy day roaming around the city centre of Florence, haggling with Bangladeshis at the flea market and killing time on the stairs of the Galileo Museum on our first day, we headed to Pisa the next day. Although there are a good number of trains that ply between Florence and Pisa, it's advisable to book the tickets at least a day in advance.
79 Kms from Montemerano
Day 5: We rested during the morning before heading to the train station to take a 12:10PM train for a day-trip to Siena. Since it was a Sunday we got to know there would be lesser transportation in terms of buses. Siena was about an hour and a half from Florence. It is recommended to travel by bus as you get to pass scenic vineyards on the way. We walked from the station to the city center through the quaint little streets; there we visited Piazza del Campo which is a huge square. Siena is a walled city and the entire city has medieval brick buildings. Given it was a Sunday, most shops were shut which also meant lesser tourists. We then had lunch at one of the cafes in the streets and then went to the Siena Duomo, Cathedral of Siena. Then headed to the bus station and took an express bus back to Florence passing the picturesque vineyards. We later strolled through the streets of Florence and then had our last dinner in Florence.