I had been to Italy several times, but had never really taken any time to enjoy it for myself. I was there on business and always worked from the time I got there until the moment I boarded my flight home. That was a regret to me, as countless people dream about seeing Italy for their entire lives and many never do for one reason or another. The Chianti region had always occupied a special place in my heart, as Tuscany is the stuff of legend, to hear the people who have been there talk about it. One day, I had an opportunity to spend 24 hours in the region with a catch. I needed to find a Chianti hotel room within minutes or would not be able to join the group that was going.
The easiest way to find a hotel in minutes is HotelTonight. I searched for Chianti hotel rooms on the app and was surprised to see so many choices available. I picked one that seemed right for me and moved into the booking process. I had a room booked and confirmed. That was it–I had my room in Chianti; therefore, I had my opportunity to spend 24 hours there exploring. All I needed to do now was get a list together of places to see during my one-day adventure.
Even though the Chianti region doesn’t have an official capital, or even official boundaries, the unofficial center of the region is the city of Greve. Greve is what you would imagine Italy and Tuscany to look like if you had a movie director build a set. There were classic old walkways, beautiful old buildings, striking architecture and plazas that were surrounded by more types of markets and cafes than I had perhaps ever seen anywhere else in the world. It was a wonderful way to start my day, as I got a glimpse of what everyday life is like in this part of the world.
I knew immediately that Chianciano Terme was unlike any place I had ever seen before, and I had traveled all over the world. This is a municipality that is home to mineral water springs that draw people from all over the world. Some people through history have come here thinking they discovered the fabled fountain of youth, as these springs supposedly provide some benefit for aging skin. That could be the case, but I was happy just taking a look at some of them and dipping my feet into them before finding a cafe and enjoying a nice cup of cappuccino. I sat and watched people take their final steps towards the springs.
Talk about history–the town of Chiusi may not be known to the everyday person around the world, but ask anyone who has studied history or archaeology and they’ll all tell you that Chiusi is worth the effort to see. There are tombs in the hills that surround the town that date back 2,500 years, and the buildings in the town look as though they’ve been preserved from some faraway period. There were also some nice restaurants here, which was important because I was starving. I had a salad and some pasta that were out of this world, along with, of course, a nice glass of wine.
I started my afternoon on the island of Elba, which is an interesting place for several reasons. This is also a tract of land in which water springs underground are prevalent, and this gives the island a different look than others in the area. It’s almost as if you’re walking around in the hills of Hawaii or the vineyards of California. I managed to walk around enough to find some nice little shops, which was great because I needed to grab some gifts for my family. Now that I was done with that, it was time to embark on my final stop of the day.
My final stop of the day was extremely dramatic, and I knew it would be as we drove over the suspension bridge on our way into town. This place looks like a postcard, and it feels like one as well when you get out and walk around. All I was really thinking about at this point was dinner, and a local lady very nicely helped me find a place that was known for its local cuisine. The dinner I had was nothing short of spectacular, and I ate while once again sipping a delicious glass of wine.
As I sadly headed back towards my hotel, I realized that I had just pulled off an adventure that the previous day was the farthest thing from my mind. I had seen places I never expected to see and experienced Italian life in a way that everyone should be able to at some point in life. I was also grateful to have a trustworthy travel companion in HotelTonight, as without it, I would never have found a Chianti hotel room so quickly. I looked forward to more last-minute travels made easy with HotelTonight.