A Tuscan Getaway @ Hotel Palazzo Squarcialupi

Onboard Emirates, en route from Venice back to Dubai.

Hello everyone πŸ™‚

I usually just pick a handful to write about after a holiday, and since we have two more hours to go before we land in DXB, here’s my write up of one of the highlights of our trip – our stay in the lil town Castellina in Chianti, in the Tuscany region of Italy.

You have to drive, if you’re planning to explore the region.

I honestly had no idea where to base ourselves, and after stumbling upon Elena’s webpage tuscanychic.com, we decided to go with her recommendation – and very glad we did! Here are the various reasons why we loved it :

Chianti is a) an easy one hour drive away from Florence. We picked up our car from Hertz and made our way south. Before you know it, you’re driving through the rolling hills, pass cornfields, beds of sunflowers, clear blue skies – it’s a bit of fresh air to the hectic, crowded Florence itself.

We struggled to find the hotel when we got to the town, but they were b) quick to assist through the phone, and they spoke good english which is always a plus!

Always good to find that accomodation comes with c) free parking, and Palazzo Squarcialupi has their own.

Upon checking in, we got our keys to our room. Unfortunately being such a great blogger than I am, we were so excited to head out that we didn’t take a single photo of the rooms themselves πŸ™‚ d) It looks just as it does on their website, and for 130 Euros a night ( 520 AED ), it was well worth the stay. Spacious rooms, king size bed and bathroom with amenities.

I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get the valley view, so G spoke to the staff, and apparently if you book from booking.com, you don’t get the option to choose the valley view. Tip : I recommend you book it on their website itself if you want ……….

e) for this view :

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Hello there, Tuscany

Beautiful, isn’t it? Of course if you don’t want to pay the extra 20 Euros (or so) for the valley view rooms, you can opt for the street view but just spend more time outdoors, as you should (as we did πŸ˜‰ )

Β f) A pool, overlooking the rolling hills. How else can your stay be more perfect? πŸ™‚ Especially after a whole day out in the sun exploring the lil towns nearby, and then jumping into this..

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Couple playing ball in the pool…

Here’s a shot of me, making our way down and to the car, hee hee.

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On the second night in Chianti, we decided to dine in their restaurant, as it was actually recommended by Tripadvisor (plus it involved the least walking from room). We called to book and they saved us a table in the terrace, which was really nice as we got there a lil later than the scheduled 8pm,

Tripadvisor got it right again, with g) dinner in the restaurant being one of the culinary highlights of our trip to Italy, second to Torre Normanna ( blog post to come πŸ˜‰ ) I had the Ossobuca – a milanese speciality of cross-cut veal shanks braised with white wine, vegetables and broth – so soft and well-cooked, absolutely delicious. G’s lamb chops was perfect, and the meal was complete with tiramisu served in a glass.

We shared a bottle of local La Castellina Chianti Rosata with dinner (we couldn’t have red at all this whole trip as it was just too hot to even attempt to sip on anything not cold!) – and i) you cannot go wrong with wine in Tuscany – the rose’ was refreshing, light and delicious with dinner.

And now the big question, how much was dinner?

j) All that for 55 Euros, as you get 10% off for staying in the hotel.Β Β That’s 220AED. You can’t even get a bottle of wine for 220AED in Dubai πŸ™‚ Love love Tuscany

We went for a walkaround the town after dinner, there were markets near the square, lots of people on the streets, and there was this one stall where a man was doing artwork and on his table was a giant hamster. It was soooooo cute. Let me know if you see it when you’re there!

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The next morning I woke up at 6am so I could catch sunrise. k)Β Palazzo Squarcialupi is a perfect spot (or anywhere on the hills in Tuscany) for watching the sun rise ) – and honestly, you gotta get up to see it for yourself. I took my lil HTC M8 and the photos don’t do it justice. Tuscan beauty, in a different shade… πŸ™‚

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Here’s one of my favourite shots, taken of the pool when the sun was coming up….

We checked out early on Friday morning to make our way back to Florence. Sad to leave, but definitely with good memories….

And to end this lil post, here’s a shot that G took of me, taking one of Mr Mustard’s photos after the storm, when we first arrived in Castellina in Chianti…. πŸ™‚ Click here for the actual photo itself πŸ™‚

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