Very few people know that the “village of love” is right here in Tuscany. It’s called Lucignano and it’s a small, medieval village in the Valdichiana, midway between Siena and Arezzo. With a population of nearly 3,000, it is famous not only for its beauty but also for its immense treasure: the Tree of Love, a masterpiece of Gothic goldsmithing decorated with choral, enamels and rock crystals. The work has been a legend for centuries, said to ensure couples with eternal fortune and happiness.
And if the town of lovers is Lucignano, streets of love can instead be found in Renaissance gem of Pienza, near Siena. Here, in the never-ending maze of harmonious alleys, there are plenty of romantic streets to walk down. They are called via del Bacio (Kiss Street), via dell’Amore (Love Street) and via della Fortuna (Fortune Street), and they wind through the historic centre of the city, a great destination for those who want to enjoy the atmosphere of yesteryear, art and architecture, not to mention a place to discover the dream and magic of love, walking hand-in-hand through this heavenly place. Pienza even captured the heart of Franco Zeffirelli in 1968, who chose the city as a set when filming the greeted love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet.
For those who want to be swept away by the pull of the sea, the breaking of the waves on the cliffs, and the fragrances and uniqueness of the islands, head to Isola del Giglio to explore love at the tranquil and familiar pace of this stunning place. Here, love intertwines with nature, a feeling only understood by those who step foot on the “coastal land” of Giglio. The island is a destination for lovers thanks to the unique atmosphere that this place exudes, the charm of the old stone houses and centuries-old walls, as well as being home to one of the most romantic places in the world, surrounded by Mediterranean scrub and overlooking the sea: the Lovers’ Lighthouse, immersed in the island’s pine grove. From here, you can lose yourself in the aromas of nature and let your happy feelings blend with the sea breeze and charm of one of the most captivating islands in the Tuscan Archipelago (the inside of the lighthouse is not open to the public, editor’s note).
The sea bestows dreamy moments and makes a simple walk unforgettable. A nighttime walk sure to be a wonderful experience can be found in Castiglioncello, in the province of Livorno, a town that has long been a favourite destination of actors like Gassman, Sordi and Mastroianni; it was also the filming location for the 1962 Il Sorpasso by Dino Risi, a historic icon of commedia all’italiana. From the pine grove in Castiglioncello, you can go down to the seaside, and from here, start a long walk that leads to Caletta, a trail along the coast with bewitching fishing lights reflected in the dark but crystal-clear nighttime waters and the moon to light your way.
Lastly, for those who have seen them at least once in their life, the lights of Florence reflecting on the Arno are unforgettable, best enjoyed from Ponte Vecchio. During the day, you can be enchanted by the reflections of the buildings on the water of what, in the 1950s, was known as the “river of silver”; you can be charmed by the Renaissance harmony of the city and the quaint artisan workshops. By night, Ponte Vecchio becomes the perfect spot to gaze up at San Miniato, which sits right above Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can enjoy the lights of the lampposts lining the Lungarno mirrored in the water. Admire this city that continues to wow visitors with its streets, traditions, history and art. And love, of course. Explore the Boboli Gardens, the historic domain of lovers, or Fiesole, the most famous “hilltop,” where you can gaze down at one of the most beautiful views of Florence. Just close your eyes to hear Dante declaring his love for Beatrice, then open them to lose yourself in a dream as you admire Florence. Dream of Tuscany and fall in love.