Should you find yourself in Florence, Italy, I highly recommend taking a day (or two, or three) to tour the surrounding hill towns of the Tuscan countryside. You will see some of the most picturesque scenery and you will have an opportunity to glimpse into the past. It is easy to take a bus from Florence out to the countryside.
Of all of the Tuscan hill towns, my favorite is San Gimignano. Filled with shops brimming with artisanal crafts the medieval walled city is absolutely wonderful; you will want to dedicate a full day to this town. Oh, and San Gimignano’s center square houses one of Italy’s most famed gelaterias! Another interesting stop is the medieval fortress town of Monteriggioni; this town currently boasts a population of less than 100 people! Above you will see me posing high atop a medieval fortress wall, in Monteriggioni, soaking in the Tuscan sun. Not a bad day at all.