I had no idea how large the region of Tuscany was until we actually drove through so many beautiful cities ...and realized we were still in Tuscany.
It's a central region in Italy that is very popular for tourist to visit. With it's capital being Florence, the next stop on our trip.
Although we were not staying in Florence overnight, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to stop through this city to witness its beauty for ourselves. After we left the Hot Springs we decided to stop for dinner in Florence. The drive was about an hour and some change from the hot springs location mentioned in the previous post.
Driving into Florence was a beautiful experience. As soon as we got there we decided to use handy dandy Yelp to help us decided where we would dine for the evening. We settled upon Restaurante Pensavo Peggio. It had a 4.5 rating and almost 300 reviews, which made it qualified enough for us to try it out, and we made a great decision. The food, wine, and atmosphere was so delightful. As soon as we were seated, we all initially asked our server for....the wifi, and he politely told us, "Sorry, no Wifi, you guys have to talk to each other". Much appreciated because we actually had such a great time at dinner and met other people/families that were sitting at the tables surrounding us.
After dinner in Florence, we REALLY needed to get a move on it and finally check into our Airbnb. We were super late but it was all good, our host was super cool and plus he was up packing because he was leaving at 4am to head to the states. This location was beyond beautiful. Located high up in the mountains, (it was actually kind of scary driving up that long winding road to get to the spot, but so worth it!).
We all unpacked the car and headed to choose which rooms we would be sleeping in. Each room was so gorgeous and the entire house was full of art. The host was an artist himself and actually had prices attached to certain pieces of artwork throughout the house...(smart hustle lol). We were all pretty tired from such a long eventful day and had a LONG day ahead of us in the morning so we basically crashed and prepared for the morning.
Morning came and we were all pretty excited about this leg of the trip. We were heading to Lucca, Italy to go horseback riding. Geneva planned such an amazing trip the logistics were just ON POINT. She loves horses and horseback riding so incorporating this activity into the trip was a must for her. Personally this was my first time ever horseback riding, and I was excited, as if I had been doing this my entire life. Not once was I nervous of scared, because it's actually something I have been wanting to do for some time but just never have.
The drive from Lamporecchio to Lucca was about 45 mins away, so we sang some throwback Destiny's Child + Beyonce and before we knew it, we were there. We arrived at the location and was greeted by the woman who would be our leader for the day, we chose to ride for a total of 2 hours, and man, it was worth it.
We all mounted our horses and filed into one single line in the order that the instructor (Jennifer) gave us. I witnessed some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen in my life during this 2 hour ride. Not only were the landscapes beautiful, but the plants and fruit trees and houses surrounding us were just, so amazing. I have never seen so many wild pear trees, fig trees, olive trees, blueberry/raspberry bushes...the list goes on. Although I did wear long bottoms, they were not denim, and now i see why riding boots are needed, because while riding through all these bushes and shrubs, there were tons of prickly ones and I for sure was poked quite a few times but nothing too major.
I was most fascinated with how well behaved the horses were. I mean I know they are trained to some extent but they just knew exactly what to do and when to do it, it was a great first experience.
After riding for 2 hours we were all pretty darn hungry so we left and went into the city of Lucca for lunch + to explore/shop. I had THE BEST ravioli topped with bolognese sauce, and of course, more wine. Wine was just a thing throughout Tuscany, all the wines are local and ordering a bottle or 2 for the table was pretty inexpensive.
From Lucca, we headed back to our spot in Lamporecchio, walked to the village shop and each grabbed a bottle of wine, (that's 5 bottles) and decided to drink ,smoke some shisha, and watch the sunset out in the beautiful lounge area. We made it through 4 bottles and so many conversations before we ended up calling it a night.
Beautiful ending to this leg of the trip.