For the first part of our Italian Roadtrip, we made Castel Monastero home.
Beautifully secluded, but in the perfect location for exploring Sienna, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni and the mysterious charm of Volterra, (a stop totally inspired by the twighlight series)
Its one of those places, where you feel like your the only ones there...
Surrounded by vinyards and lavender, it smells unreal
We started our day with coffee, before taking the day out to enjoy such a lovely hotel
There are so any places to discover and explore, everything picture perfect.
And once you've explored every inch, you can take a dip in the pool.
Caste Montastero also has an amazing restaurant.
And im a big advocate of not having to leave your hotel every night for Dinner. Its sometimes lovely to be able to take a leisurely walk (in your highest heels) to dinner, fresh and perfectly put together.
To start we ordered the sharing platter, which was as amazing as it looked.
Followed by a refreshing cocktail and the risotto for the main course.
And to cap the night off, we had petit fours and a coffee. Perfect
The perfect end to the perfect day. Fully refreshed and ready to explore Sienna the next day.
Seems we found another hotel to love...
More from our Italian road trip here
The hubbs and I love a road trip. And we love Italy (our most visited country) so we put the two together.
We planned a route from Tuscany all the way down to the Cinque Terre, with a cheeky stop off in Rome on the way back
We had never actually been to Tuscany before, But I knew id love it. I imagined it to be a little like Provence (my actual favourite place in the world) and it really was. To be fair, im a fan of the countryside anywhere I go, so it was a sure fire hit.
The first town on our trip was Assisi. Just 2 hours drive from Rome, and is great place to start a tour of Tuscany
Beautiful wildflowers dotted the countryside, perfectly punctuating the views
For the best view over the town, follow signs to the Rocca Maggiore, the large fortress towering above Assisi. As well as the town itself, there are spectacular views over the surrounding plains, hills and valleys. And These first views were everything I had hoped for. Just perfect
Its a town for wandering and exploring. Its narrow and steep lanes are picturesque and conceal plenty of surprises: a hidden restaurant, a faded fresco, a stunning view.
Occasional olive groves are dotted among the stairways and rooftops, where shy cats creep out of sight of passers-by
And always keep looking up, you never know what ancient building you could be missing
We dotted around the town until we found the Temple of Minerva in the Piazza del Comune. And took in all of the beautiful detail
Dress is Topshop
The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is not to be missed. The few views are breathtaking.
And inside is no less impressive. Take a walk around he beautiful friary.
Stopping off for an Espresso or two when the mood takes us
If the rest of Tuscany, is anything like Assisi we were in for an amazing trip!
If you've been studying hard with what seems like forever, and now you need a break to clear your mind before you go insane - then travelling is a brilliant idea. There's nothing wrong with taking a year out, and going on a life-changing adventure to put things into perspective and essentially see the world. Travel is an amazing gift that everyone is entitled to receive if they're brave enough. Let's face it, it's rather intimidating, and some people find it a lot more frightening than others, but if that slight fear wasn't there, it wouldn't feel as exciting. It's the adrenaline and trepidation that make the experience so much more than it already is.
So if you're ready for the journey of self discovery - here are some of the basics to think about before you set off.
If you've been renting a small apartment while you've been studying, then you'll need to think about what you're going to do with all of your things, because remember, you can't take them all with you around the world, the idea is to pack light when travelling and only bring the bare essentials. But if you aren't fortunate to have a family willing to keep all of your things in their garage or loft, then you'll need to get a little more creative. Have a look at what student storage services are available in your area. This is a great idea because you can book a space online, and then keep everything in storage for as long as you want and need.
While there's nothing wrong with wanting some spontaneity while travelling, it's important that you have a basic plan to follow for your trip. You'll need a starting point, a finishing point, and then all of the in-between. It's fine to make a detour or two once you're out there, but you need to at least have a little structure in terms of how long you'll be spending in a country, and when you're flights will be. Once that's done, you can go wherever you want to within reason, just as long as you make sure you're back in time to hop on the plane for your next destination.
One of the most important things to remember when travelling, is your safety. You don't need to worry yourself and be paranoid every time you arrive somewhere new, but you do need to have some common sense and a level head so that you're not taken advantage of. A lot of local criminals will try and prey on people that look like tourists and travellers because supposedly 'you don't know any better'. So do all you can not to fall into that category. Make sure you have no valuables on show - if at all. Always have a safe place to sleep that's secure. And do your best not to be walking the streets at night time.