TRATTORIA DA GIULIO: I found this recommendation in a Travel & Leisure article that I tore out years ago. When we finally go a chance to go to it, it didn't disappoint. It was complete with gorgeous Tortelli Luchesse and locals. Its absolutely one of our favorite places to eat- but don't expect fancy.
Via delle Conce, 45, 55100 Lucca LU | +39 0583 55948
OSTERIA DELLA LODOLA: This family-run place is part B&B, part grain farm & part restaurant. It’s small- like 3-4 tables, but in the summer the terrace is open to allow for more seating. You’ll definitely want a reservation, and if you have kids- the owners know just how to treat you to ensure everyone is enjoying themselves. (A shelf of books and colouring things, ordering their food nearly immediately, kiddie cutlery and high chairs.) The food isn’t fancy, but it’s outstanding and fresh. Don’t miss the local meat & cheese board to start and, if you have kids (or don’t?), get the chocolate salami for dessert. Reservations strongly recommended.
Via Piana, 19, 52045 Arezzo AR | +39 0575 649660
BIKE RIDING: Rent bikes and cruise along the city's medieval walls for an experience that will stay with you forever. With the hills of Tuscany surrounding the city and the tall tree lined paths, you'll feel like you've found yourself in a movie. There are various shops offering rentals, so don't fret. Just head towards the walls and you'll most likely find a spot to rent bikes for a few hours.
PUCCINI CONCERT: Even if you don't know who in the world Puccini is, you've heard a lot of his songs. As Lucca is his birthplace, most of the year you can find daily concerts for a small price. You'll hear gorgeous perfomances and hit all the highlights like O Mia Babbino and Nessun Dorma.
VILLA FONTELUNGA: This small privately owned hotel is a sweet spot if you’re looking for a place to stay that is really tucked well into the countryside. The grounds are gorgeous- with a picturesque pool and olive trees. The rooms are a bit dated and could use some love, but the staff is sweet and the happy breakfast makes it a special place to spend a couple of nights.
Via Cunicchio, 5, 52045 Pozzo della Chiana AR | +39 0575 660410