Member Monday: A Taste of Tuscany

When you go overseas, it’s a good idea to stay for multiple weeks to get the most out of the trip. That’s why Global Discovery Vacations member Katherine K. recently spent two weeks in the cultural hub of Tuscany, Italy, one at Residence La Ferreria. Thanks to Katherine, this week’s Member Monday is a delightful read!

Where would you recommend a fellow member to go to…
Eat
The city of Loro Ciuffenna has a nice selection of restaurants. While you can of course dine at the resort on the grounds of Residence La Ferreria, I would recommend trying a few others.

The best place to dine for a typical Italian (long!) lunch or special dinner is at Ristorante La Torre. They feature a rotating menu that has great chef specials. Their normal menu is also excellent. Be sure to try the beef shank, lamb, beef tartare, homemade gnocchi and save room for their tiramisu. Beyond the excellent food & service, this place is situated in a tower, which makes it quite fun.

Another great place for dinner is Ristorante Va’ Pensiero – this place has an excellent terrace which has nice views of the city. Try the spaghetti with “jowl bacon.” It was one of the best pasta dishes we had in Italy.

Other great places are the pizza place (no location or name on Google Maps) that is right next to the river as you walk into town from the resort. As you start crossing the bridge, look to your left and you’ll find a small, family-run pizza-only restaurant. It is very good!

Finally, be sure to stop at Bar Sport Gelateria. It’s also right past the bridge and is a great place for croissants, gelato, coffee and drinks.

Shop
There are a lot of fun stores within the city limits – be sure to stop into the organic shop which sells wine, olive oil, jams, homemade honey and great produce. It is located off of the main square.

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Beyond souvenir shopping, be sure to stop in at the grocery store: Punto Simply. You’ll need to use some of your Italian, but it is such a fun experience. Be sure to get some delicious cheese and salamis for your condo!

Have fun/attractions
There are so many things to do around Loro in Italy! We spent many of our days driving to neighboring cities. One of the most scenic routes to take is to go to Poppi to visit the castle there. Driving from Loro to Poppi is breathtaking as you are driving up and through a mountain. We had a Toyota Yaris, so you’ll be fine on this drive in any vehicle (all roads are paved).

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We most highly recommend taking a hot air balloon ride with Tuscany Ballooning. It is about an hour drive from the resort, but it is so worth it. Be sure to check out more details on their website and make a reservation. You leave early in the morning (before 7 a.m., depending on time of the year) so that you watch the sunrise over the Tuscan countryside.

Following the hour ride, you’ll have a great breakfast with local cheeses, honey, olive oils, breads and fresh fruit with Prosecco. It is the best! Furthermore, the family who runs the company has a great vineyard with tasting and tours about 30 minutes from where you take the balloon. I would also recommend visiting that winery.

What was your favorite…
Resort/Condo Amenity:
The pool is very nice as well as the terraces with each unit. If you can, try to reserve unit four or three.

Place to go in the destination:
Italy has many wonderful places to enjoy. Florence is very fun and is not far from Loro. You can drive or take a train to Florence.

You cannot go wrong with any of the wineries around the Tuscan area – Montalcino, Montepulciano, Siena and more.

Why did you choose this destination? Were you traveling for a special occasion?
We chose Loro because we thought that the resort looked very nice and in a quieter town. We were traveling as part of our two-week vacation in Italy. Loro proved to be a great town to be in – quiet, but still had plenty to do and enjoy.

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What was your favorite memory of your vacation?
After our time in Loro, we traveled to Monterosso of the Cinque Terre in Italy. We loved our time there and especially our accommodations – we were right on the Mediterranean Sea. If you have a chance to go to the Cinque Terre area, take it! Also, see a Serie A soccer game if you’re a sports fan. It is unlike any sports event in the US – so very fun!

Any tips for a traveler going to this resort or destination? Anything you think they should bring?

  • You likely already know that the resort in Loro doesn’t have air conditioning. This wasn’t an issue for my husband and I when we visited in early September. The daytime temperatures were between the high 80s and low 90s, so be sure to keep those shutters closed!
  • The pool is great to cool off in, but it is not heated.
  • Enjoy the restaurants in the city and grocery shopping at Punto to enjoy snacks in the condo.
  • The refrigerator is small but sufficient.

About you

How long have you been a Global Discovery Vacations member?
Just under two years.

Why did you join the club?
To travel more!

How many trips have you taken using your membership?
Two.

Why do you think traveling is important?
I think at the end of the day, we’re not all that different than the people we see and meet all over the world. I think seeing that and being in new places helps us to remember that we’re all looking for the same things in life. Traveling provides the opportunity to see the world, meet new people, try new things and remember that life is so much more than right here.

Photos courtesy of member Kelly K.

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.