DAY 6 (May 13 and Oct 25 | 2021)

This is our last day exploring and photographing breathtaking Tuscany together. Tomorrow we’ll leave Pienza but on the way out, we’ll show you a few more images of our favorite Tuscan hill town and its serene surroundings.

Today, let me first tell you the story of the “PLANT.” 

A few years ago we saw a photo of an amazing huge tree on top of a small hill in the middle of Tuscany. We showed the photo around but nobody knew the tree’s location. So Jim, the master sleuth, checked out Google Earth and discovered a big dark blob surrounded by contour lines (signifying “hill”). That must be it! And it was. He’d located THE TREE!

So every year, we take our Tuscany Photo Tour clients to “our” enormous 200-year-old oak tree. We’re respectful not to walk into the wheat field that surrounds the tree. We don’t want to destroy the farmer’s crop. However, 2 years ago, the farmer drove up unexpectedly, got out of his car and . . . instead of chasing us away (which is what we feared at that moment), he just smiled and in heavily accented English asked us:

“Do you like my plant?”

One of the many sweet encounters that make traveling so much fun and meaningful.

The TREE in ominous weather


The ancient Etruscan town of Pitigliano

Pitigliano is located south of Montepulciano, a little over 1 hour from Pienza. It is one of Tuscany’s ”borghi del tufo” — towns carved of the light and porous tufa stone. Pitigliano was once inhabited by an Etruscan (pre-Roman) community. Its influence is still visible in the many tombs carved into the volcanic rock. Pitigliano really has an ancient “feel” to it.


Too Much Tuscan Sun: Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide is Dario Castaggno’s (a Sienna-based tour guide) hilarious response to the “American in Tuscany” literary genre. 

Too Much Tuscan Sun is Dario’s account of some of his more remarkable customers, from the obsessive and the oblivious to the downright lunatic.

“. . . the bulk of the book is devoted, with humor and affection, to the Americans he has met — the vain, the silly, the ignorant, the ambitious, the horny, the condescending, the charming, and the outright pathological. Some of them have made his life hell and live in his nightmares; others became lifelong friends.”


Our next stop about 45 minutes due east, is an ancient village perched on top of an eroding hillside. Civita di Bagnoregio is stunning to photograph anytime but especially during the magical Blue Hour. We march up the steep and narrow road into town for dinner and then return to our vantage point in time to capture this exciting shot.


Your culinary experience of Tuscany would not be complete without the comforting Ribollita kale and bean soup. And it’s very easy to make. Click here for the recipe.

Ciao Ciao — ci vediamo domani