Love me in Tuscany. A honeymoon among art and history: Montecatini Terme, Prato, Anchiano

Tuscany must be the perfect setting for our honeymoon. The sweet hills, covered with vineyards and olive groves, the ancient villages, immobile, impudently facing the time that doesn’t give any rest but can’t scratch them. Some dream of the Caribbean for the days after the wedding, Polynesia maybe, but we couldn’t think of nothing but Tuscany and its romantic landscapes, and of relaxing together, rocked by its languid rhythm.

“Towns and villages await us, they untwine like memories not yet lived, love, let’s choose Tuscany.”

Thus, we set aside the most crowded cities and we left for Montecatini Terme, looking for some relax. We are interested in its history and we figure out that the thermal baths date back to Middle Ages, when they were situated in Montecatini Alto. We are told that the city was under Medici family’s control, but then Hasburg-Lorraine were decisive for the urbanistic and thermal implant.

Honeymoon: Montecatini Terme, Prato, Anchiano.

 

We take the funicular for the upper town and we enjoy the breathtaking panorama extending in front of our eyes while we climb the wooded hillside. We visit the castle, and between the Park of Thermae and the baths in the wellness centers we spend two days in total relax, realizing that we really needed it after the preparation for the wedding.

 

 

“The Tuscan morning air floods the room, the mist of the distant hills extends and embraces us, imperceptibly, reflecting the green shades of the countryside and the luminescence of the sun on the frescoed walls. I would like to wake up like this. The beginning of a dream.”

We prepare slowly, but the baths regenerated us, and we can’t wait to arrive to our next destination. Prato waits for us, rich in history, and we are ready to let it fascinate us.

We immerse ourselves in the streets and we reach its ancient heart, Santa Maria delle Carceri square. The architect of the church of the same name, perfectly proportioned renaissance masterpiece, was Giuliano da Sangallo, chosen by Lorenzo de’ Medici himself. The close church of San Francesco, on its side, strikes us especially for the fifteenth-century cloister and the marvelous Cappella Migliorati, with the lively colorful decorations that cover its vaults and walls.

Hunger catches us and, seated on a bench in the square, we enjoy some freshly baked bread with the famous local mortadella, that they insisted so much that we should try in a bar. With a smile, I propose to taste the cantuccini, knowing you have a major sweet tooth.

We are sated, but not tired of discovering the city’s history, and so we can’t miss to visit the castle of the Emperor’s Castle, wanted by Frederick II, impressing for its majesty, the northernmost Swabian architecture in the country. The pictures taken on its overlook will remain witnesses of our smiles, to remind us our happiness in these splendid places.

Honeymoon: Montecatini Terme, Prato, Anchiano.

To really understand the essence of Prato, capital of the textile, the Textile Museum is left: we move slowly through the rooms of the nineteenth-century “Cimatoria Campolmi” factory and the various fabrics enchant us. Finally, we conclude our day with Santo Stefano cathedral. The city’s main cathedral, recognizable for the Late Gothic façade made with the typical two-tone marble, welcomes us among its arcades and invites us to admire the works of artists like Paolo Uccello, Filippo Lippi and Fra Diamante.

“Driving slowly enjoying the view, the wind lashing the vines to tousle your hair. A taste of love, love, a taste of love in Tuscany.”

The day after we drive to Anchiano. Or maybe the car leads us, by now, through the roads of Tuscan hills, to show us how time can truly stop here. This destination was almost obvious to us, met during a class on Leonardo da Vinci at university. It seems immediately like we are back to those days, while we visit the didactic exhibition in the genius’ native house. We definitely learn more here than among our faculty’s desks, busy as we were to exchange looks and smiles.

The surrounding hills, covered with olive groves and vineyards and almost untouched since Leonardo’s days, look like they are assuring us that time can stop for us too, in a way, renewing our happiness together every day.

For a further taste of romantic Tuscany, Love me in Tuscany.

The complete guide to the perfect love trip is Love me in Tuscany.