Ah Tuscany… it has to be one of the most beautiful, longed-for places in Italy, if not the world! This region of Italy offers drop-dead gorgeous countryside, divinely delicious food and so much amazing history to explore. There’s just something so magical about the atmosphere in Tuscany.

With a couple of friends visiting Italy this year (including my fellow Lovin’ Life Linky host Kathy Marris who leaves next week – how exciting!), the time has come for the bestie and I to step up into planning mode. Yes, we’re planning another overseas trip, including a return visit to Italy. It’s still a couple of years away, but we all know how fast time passes, so before we know it, we’ll be jetting off!

On our last visit to Italy, we spent 26 amazing, fun-filled days in this beautiful country, as we traveled from Rome to the Amalfi Coast,Β Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Portofino, Milan and finally the stunningly beautiful Lake Como. Even though we spent several days and nights in each of our destinations, we only just scratched the surface of what Italy has to offer. On our return trip, we’d like to spend more time in Tuscany, as we really enjoyed the small slice we saw of it previously. Last time, the places we visited in Tuscany included: Florence, Siena, Pisa, San Gimignano and a few other small, very pretty places. We really enjoyed walking around the cities and towns, wandering off the beaten track and finding little vistas and points of interest many tourists miss.

The countryside is just so picturesque, we’ve decided we’re going to explore more of Tuscany’s tiny hill towns. We’d also like to stay in a few of them, so we can experience the true essence of Tuscany. We’ve discovered the biggest barrier to exploring tiny places in Tuscany is transport! Most experts recommend you hire a car, but having seen the way most people drive in Italy, we’re not so keen. Our challenge is to figure out how we can achieve our dream of going off the beaten tourist track while ensuring we stay in one piece in the process! The trains offer limited access to some of the hill towns, but either a bus, car or taxi will be required to reach many of the towns. I’m sure we’ll find a way to make it happen!

In the meantime, I’m revisiting some of my snaps from our previous visit to Italy, which have reminded me and inspired us to start saving for our next dose of La Dolce Vita! Enjoy!! πŸ™‚

Tuscany, entree, apperitif, Tuscan food, Seize the day project

The entree at a celebration dinner we enjoyed in Tuscany. I was craving green beans and ended up going back for a second lot. While all the food in Italy was sensational, it’s funny the things you miss when you’re away!

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

This shot was taken on the outskirts of beautiful Siena

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project, San Gimignano

The pretty back streets of San Gimignano

Tuscany, San Gimignano, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Looking up at one of the historic San Gimignano towers

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

A random angel statue we stumbled across in the back streets of Siena #backstreets #offthebeathenpath

Tuscany, Italy, Besties do Italy, Siena, Seize the day project

Another one of those β€œoff the beaten path” back street shots

Florence, Tuscany, Duomo, Seize the day project, Besties do Italy

The stunning Duomo in Florence catching the last of the evening light

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

A gorgeous bust on the streets of Siena

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

A country scene from a villa we visited for wine and cheese tasting (just outside Florence)

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The majestic outlook from the edge of San Gimignano – only found if you go #offthebeatenpath

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

An ancient monastery just outside Siena. We spotted this one while waiting for the bus πŸ™‚

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The picturesque piazza in Siena

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Amazing streetscape in Siena

Tuscany, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The incredible ceiling in the Duomo at Siena

Florence, Tuscany, Duomo, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The intricate facade of the Florence Duomo

On the down days and blah days when things just don’t seem to be going my way, I take a moment (or two) to think about what I want to do on the trip and what an amazing time we will have exploring Italy again … and suddenly the day improves. Spending time reading blog posts, reviews and getting tips from friends who’ve visited is another exciting part of the planning process. It’s time to get the balling rolling! πŸ™‚

This has been just a tiny snippet of our experiences in Tuscany. We have thousands of photos from the trip. Just thinking about our next trip has me lovin’ life this week.

Have you been to Tuscany? What was your favourite place to visit?

Seize the day project, happy birthday, happy to bel alive, lovin life linky

The Lovin’ Life LinkyΒ pops up each and every Thursday. I’m honoured to be a co-host!

Click on any of the links below to read more amazing stories about Lovin’ Life – because we all need to feel inspired and create our own happiness :).

The rest of theΒ Lovin’ Life Linky team is:

Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit – Min from Write of the Middle

Kathy from 50 Shades of Age – Jo Tracey from Andanyways.com