Among many (many, many) other things, Tuscany boasts a vast artistic and cultural heritage and a rich food and wine tradition.
These are the pillars of this first Play Your Tuscany blog tour: a journey through the creative and gastronomic excellences of Pisa, Lucca and Carrara. A perfect combination of towers (some leaning, some not!), ancient defense walls and marble quarries already known by Michelangelo and Canova, with scented truffles, delicious chocolates, wine and the most famous lard of Italy.
Join us through this adventure to discover the Tuscan masterpieces of art and cuisine.
To have bites of art and science, architecture and experiments, inspirations and hypotheses, all in the same day, it may seem a little daunting, but it isn’t if you are in Pisa!
Pisa is a city of great artistic treasures and also the birthplace of the father of modern science, Galileo Galilei.
So why not start the tour following in his footsteps for a unique way to explore the many faces of the city. Guided by a Galileo expert, the players are taken to the places in which the great scientist lived and worked, to discover the secrets he left behind.
After that, it’s time to head to the woods of San Miniato for a truffle hunting adventure and a special cooking lesson led by Paolo Parisi, the inventor of the absolute egg.
Last but not least, the players enter the doors of the Pastificio Martelli, a well-establishes family-run pasta producer that demonstrates how this artisanal business is all about professionalism and passion.
The second day is dedicated to a jewel among all medieval cities.
Lucca is unmissable, because there is no other place like it on earth! A unique example of a “modern fortified” city, impeccably conserved.
With the Insideout/Upsidedown itinerary, our players visit Lucca from different viewpoints: from atop the city’s magnificent towers to the underground areas below its walls, and more.
The tour begins with an enjoyable bike ride/tour along the city’s medieval walls, under the trees, to explore the bastions. One of the best way to discover and admire the town.
Then it’s time to go underground, into the spaces below the walls, retracing the layers of the city’s history.
Now, up again, this time climbing the stairs of the Guinigi Tower, that boast six stunning holm oaks on its top and a panoramic view on the Clock Tower, (Torre delle Ore), the San Giovanni bell tower and the roofs. And the sky is so much closer!
Back on ground level, players rest and learn about wine, one of Tuscany’s best known products, inside the Enoteca Vanni.
The day ends with a visit at the Domus Romana "Casa del Fanciullo sul Delfino "an archeological site from the 1st century BCE that owes its name to the splendid terracotta frieze depicting two "putti" riding dolphins.
A stretch of narrow terrain between the sea and the mountains, two natural settings that contrast and complement one another in an incomparable display of beauty. This is where you’ll find Carrara, famous since ancient Roman times for the excellent quality of its white marble.
The morning is dedicated to an off-road tour among those white marble quarries that have attracted artists for centuries. Just think of one of the world’s best sculptors, Antonio Canova, and more recently, Henry Moore; as well as writers like Charles Dickens.
The tour allows players to visit the areas from where the marble has been extracted for centuries, such as the quarry from which Michelangelo chose his marble blocks and that, as he once said, already held artistic greatness within them.
Once the adventure subsides, the hungry players satisfy their appetites in the historic centre of Carrara, with a lunch at a traditional trattoria.
The exploration continues with a visit to a historic workshop that produces Lard from Colonnata, a short tour to explore Candia DOC vineyards in the Apuan Hills, and a super cooking lesson dedicated to the traditional local dishes.