Hi, my name is Amanda and I live in a beautiful area of Tuscany named Valdinievole, between Florence and Lucca, at a short distance to the most famous towns of Tuscany but at the same time enclosed into green valleys far away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds of tourists areas.
What makes special to me this area of Tuscany?
First of all being at a short distance from where ever you wish to go in Tuscany, either by car, coach or train: seaside for getting tanned or mountain for hiking, but if you want art sightseeing then Siena or Florence, Pisa or Lucca and much more places are just at a short distance perfect for a day tour.
In all the Valdinievole area there are churches and small museums in towns and old villages that makes you feel like if time stopped, it’s so nice and easy to find places with shops of artisans that have preserved their lovely age-old craftsman's traditions, and all this full of quietness and peacefull atmosphere.
This is for me a Tuscan hidden gem to discover and explore!
The historical capital is the medieval town of Pescia from which starts the Svizzera Pesciatina, green hills and rich streams or small water courses that go through and characterize such an area.
What I like most is to visit the little villages of the area the so-called “dieci castella” (10 stars) full of honeycomb of teeny lanes with in each stone, corner, image, a moment of a past time full of magic atmosphere.
The “dieci castella” are: Vellano, Pietrabuona, Medicina, Aramo, Fibbialla di Valleriana, Sorana, S. Quirico, Castelvecchio, Stiappa, Pontito and can be reached by old walking paths or local roads, and the panoramic and breathtaking views that you admire from there are amazing!
In addition to a rich history, Svizzera Pesciatina is a suitable place for people who love trekking, an area full of paths that run inside the woods, crossing over streams and old bridges and where you can see a rich fauna.
The best way to enjoy the area is to stay in a one of the several farmhouses of the area that offer accommodation in the heart of this hidden part of Tuscany.
This is a guestpost written by Amanda Lavelli, one of the readers of Around Tuscany. Amanda lives and works in Tuscany, she loves nature and her dream is to open an "agriturismo" in Tuscany. She is married, mother of two teenagers and describe herself as "an enthusiastic, curious and optimistic person". Her blog is http://amandalavelli.wordpress.com