Connect with us

Adventure Travel

Exploring Tuscany by Scooter

Get away from the tourist traps in Italy and find some freedom by exploring Tuscany by Scooter like we did. Perfect for seeing the Italian countryside.

Published

on

Exploring Tuscany by Scooter

The blazing orange ball dips towards the horizon line. While bright yellow Sunflowers twist to catch the last rays of sunlight sweeping across the silent valley floor.

Rows and rows of perfectly parallel grapevines line the hills. Their branches hanging low still thick with the plump fruit that will be harvested in a few months time to create thirst quenching wine.

Tuscany Pictures, Tuscany wine grapes

The smell of freshly cut golden bales of hay lie freshly bound across empty fields.

And black ribbons of tarmac coated with sticky tar, melted from the summer sun, twist and turn between the Tuscan farms. Dipping in and out of sight, the roads seemingly go on forever.

Exploring Tuscany by Scooter

The silence is pierced only by a steady whine slowly building in the distance. It sounds like an entire beehive taking flight.

Bursting into the sunlight from around one of the twisting corners appears a single wheel attached to handlebars gripped by a pair of white-knuckled hands.

Two riders sit astride a sunflower yellow Vespa going hell for leather.

Urging the 100cc engine on, the driver gives another twist of the throttle. Leaning into the never-ending bends they sweep past the vineyards and sunflowers to disappear around a curve in the road.

Silence descends again on this remote Tuscan Valley.

Exploring Tuscany by Scooter

If you had looked closer before they whipped past, you would have seen a manic grin plastered across my helmeted face.

My chest gripped like a vice by Adela’s interlocking fingers. Her manic grin nearly wider than mine.

Scooter in Tuscany

Exploring Tuscany by Scooter

Earlier that day we had unleashed the motoring beast within and spent the day exploring Tuscany by Scooter. Our hired 100cc scooter giving us one of our best adventures to date.

Our route was wild and unplanned.

All we wanted was to stick to the back-roads and find the cutest towns possible.

Tuscany Village by Scooter, Tuscany Pictures

With a head full of ridiculously romantic visions and only 8 hours to take it all in we initially thought we had to move fast. That quickly changed as we cruised the empty roads.

Every bend revealed another sweeping vista with a village perched precariously on top of distant hills. The local town church spires guiding us to their coffee shops and sweet pastries.

Each of the villages only allowed access for local cars or motorbikes. And the usual hordes of tourists seemed to avoid them as they stuck to the main routes. Blissfully alone we zigzagged our scooter up narrow alleys before exploring deeper on foot.

Adela Tuscany by Scooter, Scooter in Tuscany

With recommendations from the locals in each town on where to go next we would blindly follow directions to find our next destination.

Places like La Porta di Kertine, an organic vineyard tucked off the beaten path.

The owner heard us puttering down the dusty gravel driveway and welcomed us with open arms. Even taking us on a tour of his vines. We were just sorry we could only fit one bottle of sweet Rose wine under our scooters seat.

Wine in Tuscany

Even getting caught in the middle of a summertime thunder storm didn’t give us reason to pause. Drenched to the bone we blasted on, quickly drying off when the torrential rained eased.

Wishing we could have stayed on the back of that yellow devil forever the light quickly faded as the sunset.

Sitting back with our bottle of Rose that evening we remembered the feeling of freedom and the beauty and emptiness around us. The perfect way to see a side of Italy and Tuscany that many don’t.

Scooter Tuscany Thunderstorm

Extra Travel Tips:

We stayed in Certaldo and can recommend the Fattoria Bassetto B&B and Hostel for travelling couples.

We rented our scooters in San Gimignano which is 35 km’s from Florence. Easily accessible by train or bus and worth a few hours of exploring separately.

You have 24 hours so it is worth picking up the scooter the night before. It means you can set off early the next day.

Don’t try to go too far. We only covered 140 km’s on our scooter and stopped often. Also make sure you keep an eye on the fuel gauge as there are not many gas stations around.

Stay safe, obey the speed limits and be careful on the winding roads. Italian drivers can be quite aggressive although we only saw a handful of cars all day.

Continue Reading
36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Laurence

    September 12, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Wow, that is an amazing bit of narrative to kick the post off! Nice work! I’ve always loved the theory of a scooter adventure, but am slightly terrified of falling off. Still.. it does look like fun though!

  2. Mike

    September 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Driving around the Tuscany with a scooter is really a cool idea. You would get to feel the relatively mild weather. Nice to know that we can rent easily accessible scooters at San Gimignano.

  3. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    September 12, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Love, love, love it! I didn’t expect to love Tuscany, thought it would be too cliche for me. But Dani was so excited, so we went. I love Tuscany, the same way I love Paris, too. I can see that it inspired you here, really got you writing awesome narrative, and I absolutely felt the same way. Tuscany is magical, and seeing it on a scooter must be amazing! We had a cherry red Fiat, so felt pretty Italian, too, while we were there 😉 Great story!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      I felt like that was one of my best posts actually and so visiting somewhere that inspires you definitely helps the writing flow! Awesome you rented a Red Fiat! Can just imagine you buzzing around everywhere haha.

  4. Candice

    September 12, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    This is a great idea, and looks like so much fun! I like that it was an unplanned trip directed by the locals. No so sure I would like to get stuck in the rain though!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      The rain was actually fine because it only lasted about 10 minutes. And luckily it was still warm. Even though we were in t-shirts 🙂

  5. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    September 12, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    When in Tuscany, scoot like the locals! Pity your yellow beast only had room for one bottle, however…

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      We have their card so might have to order some over here 😉

  6. bronwen burmester

    September 13, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Loved San Gimignano – and have a nice black and red leather bag too from there! Had yummi8est pizzas there too, x

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      The towers were really cool! Maybe you need to snorkel along the Italian coast rather than the Pacific coast 🙂

  7. Brenda

    September 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Would love to do that – sounds like so much fun

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      Definitely do it if you get the chance Brenda 😉

  8. D.J. - The World of Deej

    September 13, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Awesome stuff, although I doubt MJ would trust me to operate a scooter:)

    • Cole Burmester

      September 14, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      Haha I asked Adela if she wanted to drive at all and she made it clear she was alright with me. Would be fun to get a bunch of people together and do it.

  9. Angela

    September 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Italian drivers aggressive?? Ooops 😛 Looks like you’ve had a lovely trip, the best way to enjoy Tuscany’s countryside!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 14, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      I was glad it was country roads and not Rome! Might have been run over in any of the cities.

  10. Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog

    September 14, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Thanks for the follow on Twitter. I like how this is written, Cole. Funny I was watching a program about Tuscany the other day. Scooter ride looks like a fun way to explore the city. Love the photos.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      Thanks Shamis. Definitely a good way to get around the countryside rather than with public transport.

  11. Ashley

    September 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I LOVE your photos. I actually stayed in Fattoria Bassetto four years ago… such an amazing place! I definitely should’ve rented a scooter as well.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      Fattoria Bassetto such a nice spot. I bet the same Aussie guy was working there then! Hopefully you go back sometime and then you can rent a scooter 😉

  12. Lillie - @WorldLillie

    September 17, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Awesome photos!!! I can feel the wind rushing through my hair 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      September 17, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Cheers Lillie. Was such an easy post to write. Maybe because we enjoyed it so much!

  13. avaapollo

    September 17, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    Looks so beautiful!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      It truly was. Could have spent so many days exploring Tuscany by scooter. Need to go back I think.

  14. Diego

    September 21, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Locally made wines in Tuscany taste really good. I’ve tried before in Tuscany how to make wines from the its harvest to its processing. I really wish I could go back there soon.

  15. Andy

    September 24, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    Awesome stuff guys! I had the exact same idea as i head to florence (from auckland NZ) next week with my partner. I really want to see tuscany on a scooter and am going to hire one from florence. Is there anything close to florence that you would recommend we see by scooter?
    Cheers
    Andy

  16. Pingback: Meet the Kiwi Bloggers: Four Jandals Adventure Travel Blog - Flashpacker Family - Family Travel Blog, Travel with Kids, Toddler Travel Tips

  17. Deepak

    March 12, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Hi. We are planning to go in first week June and while researching found your journal. Very encouraging! Curious to know which month did you travel in?

    • Cole Burmester

      March 18, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      Hey Deepak,
      We travelled in the middle of June and it was the perfect time of year. Nice and warm but not too busy with tourists. Beginning of June will be amazing! Enjoy and have safe travels.
      Cheers,
      Cole

  18. Brandon

    March 14, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Great post! Do you remember the company you used to rent a scooter? My wife and I would love to do this.

    • Cole Burmester

      March 18, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Thanks Brandon 🙂
      The company we used was called Bruno Bellini and they are located near the village of San Gimignano. Hope you manage to rent Scooters in Tuscany and go exploring! Such an amazing day out.

  19. Kelly Archidiacono

    July 23, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I am curious to know the route that you took. This looks like an amazing adventure and I would love to do it. Is it easy to get lost or did you map out the route prior to starting your trip? Also, where there gas stations easily accessible?

    • Cole Burmester

      July 31, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      Thanks for your comment Kelly. We just picked a route around all the small villages within a 100km radius from San Gimignano then took off! I can’t remember the exact route but we stuck to the small back roads and found petrol stations along the way. Most towns are only about 10 – 20kms apart so it’s easy just to pick and choose as you go along. Sorry I can’t be more specific but sing out if you need anything.

  20. Dom

    August 16, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    Hi Cole, your trip looks so amazing, I am trying to book through Bruno Bellini and they are asking for credit card and personal details via an email and I’m just a little bit dubious as it is not the way that I normally make payments. Did you book in advance and if so did you have the same experience

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2013 at 6:25 AM

      Hi Dom,
      Thanks for your question and reading the blog. We just booked it when we walked into their rental shop in the evening. We then had the bike for 24 hours so could use it that night and all the next day. Allowed us to get an early start the following day too.
      Good luck and enjoy it!
      Cheers,
      Cole

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Adventure Travel

Do You Need a Break?

Published

on

We all need a break at some point or another, as much as some of us don’t want to admit it we simply aren’t robots. So why do so many of us simply not recognise the fact that we are close to burn-out? (and yes burn-out is a very real thing). In fact, one third of people in the UK don’t take their fully entitled annual leave every year. You could take a few guesses as to why this is; perhaps money is tight, perhaps work is incredibly busy or perhaps people feel like they’re just not entitled to take time for themselves… Whatever the reason going for extended periods of time without a break can be extremely detrimental to ones mental and physical health, so what are the key warning signs that show you it may be time to get away for a bit?

  • You’re eating more than normal. This goes past eating for boredom, if you find yourself reaching for more than just a few snacks at work, perhaps you’re finding that your lunch just isn’t giving you the energy you need to get through the afternoon or maybe the prospect of any kind of food other than a takeaway pizza and a chocolate cookie is unappealing. Your body is telling you it needs energy that it can’t get from food alone.
  • Your social life is kind of non-existent. We don’t mean to be rude but when was the last time you met up with your mates? Or even your family? It has been said that not spending enough time with friends and family is one of the top regrets of people on their deathbeds, so do you want that to be you?
  • You have caffeine running in your blood stream. That morning latte has become a triple shot espresso and a post-five pm coffee hit has become a necessity, let’s face it you’re not just drinking all the coffee because you like the taste.
  • You oversleep pretty darn frequently, in fact your morning alarm has started to feel like a bit of background noise rather than the call for you to wake up and start your day.
  • You haven’t posted anything to your social media accounts because you feel like nothing exciting has happened. Oh, and whenever anybody else posts an image of them on holiday, out for dinner or doing something vaguely interesting you get annoyed (it’s not because you’re a bad person, we promise!).
  • You are never home, in fact it could be questionable whether your roommates even know you exist anymore. The only sign of you being at home is a bottle of ketchup and some leftover takeaway containers in the fridge, yeah, not a good thing…
  • You live for Friday. Although when it finally arrives you end up doing the same thing you do every evening. Work, work and perhaps a bit more work accompanied with that takeaway pizza we were talking about earlier. (oh and don’t forget the triple espresso!)
  • Your gym card is collecting dust. Nope you don’t have an injury (even if you try to convince yourself or others that you do) nor do you go out running but instead you’re working from dusk til dawn barely giving yourself time to catch some fresh air and take a brisk walk. Yeah that’s not any good for your physical or mental health.
  • Phone calls become the bane of your life. Not only do you absolutely detest your ring tone but with every call you receive comes an instant assumption that it’s work related and even if it is your friend you ignore it because work is just ‘so busy…’.
  • And last but not least what used to bring you joy now irrationally annoys you. Whether it’s a hobby you used to frequently partake in or the job that you used to enjoy whenever you think about it you just sigh.

So, did you answer yes to one or more of the ten points outlined above? If you did it really is time to think about booking a bit of a break. Whether that’s a weekend getaway or a week-long adventure it’s important for you take some time for yourself, relax, unwind and decompress. In fact, you’ll almost definitely feel better upon your return, after all the effects of a good holiday are almost immediate with research showing that even after only a day or two, 89% of people experience significant drops in stress. What are you waiting for? Take a break, you deserve it.

Continue Reading

Adventure Travel

Walking Holiday Ideas in Amazing Places

Published

on

Going on holiday is one of the things that most people look forward to all year. Holidays are a way to see new places and enjoy a break the monotony of a routine life. People have their own ways of spending holidays. Obviously, countryside areas are free from the stress of city life and are free from all ill effects that city dwellers often face. Due to the better impact on the health, the concept of walking holidays is catching momentum these days. Walking holidays allow you to explore new areas, and you can make new likeminded friends in the tour group. Some of the fascinating destinations for walking holidays are as follows.

Wales

Located in the Southwest of the United Kingdom, Wales is a wonderful country that has gained a phenomenal popularity among the tourists. The country has amazingly beautiful places that can only be reached by foot. There are beautiful places to walk throughout Wales, but you should also make sure you spend some time in the lovely Welsh towns. In North Wales you can explore Ceiriog Valley which is located near the town of Wrexham. Book some cheap accommodation in Wrexham and then you can enjoy going off and exploring the many surrounding pathways and walking trails.

Crete

Loaded with unexplored beauty and adventure, Crete promises to be a great place for walking holidays. Since the country has numerous places to visit, you will need to have a think about where you’d like to go before you set off. Among some of the most wonderful places in Crete, you must experience the matchless beauty of Ayia Roumeli, Omalos Plateau, Preveli, Loutro, and Samaria Gorge. These are just a few to name; in fact, you can get a chance to explore hundreds of such places all over Crete.

Morocco

If you are interested in watching a variety of lifestyles and their impact on human life, then you must go for a trekking holiday in Morocco. The country has a stunning landscape that includes the presence of the Atlas Mountain, Mount Toubkal, Sahara Desert and many more. By walking extensively, you can get a chance to have a glimpse of these beautiful places that you cannot reach by car. Your walking holiday in Morocco will provide you with amazing views

Japan

Japan’s amazing countryside can be best explored by foot. Your guide can explain to you the interesting history of the are through which you walk. Japan has a large number of interesting places to visit, but you may enjoy your visit to Shikoku Pilgrimage, Nakasend Trail, Kumano Kodo, and many more. The view of the volcano and volcanic lake is something you’ll never forget.

Spain

Romantic hills, adventurous valleys, delicious cuisines, and being immersed in the Spanish lifestyle, all this and more, you can experience only on your waking holidays to Spain. Some routes are easy to navigate yourself, but if you want to go on a longer walk to properly explore the region then joining a group will be best.

There are hundreds of incredible walking destinations throughout the world, and there are so many benefits of going on a walking holiday. If you’ve never done it before, you could always go on holiday and join a walking tour for just a couple of days to see if you like it. There are different tours to suit all abilities so with just a bit of research you’ll be able to find the perfect group for you.

Continue Reading

Adventure Travel

5 Vibrant Destinations for a Fun Filled Holiday

Published

on

If travelling is a passion of yours, then you are certainly going to like this post. People always love to travel to some of the finest destinations that are scattered all over the world. However, there is hardly any doubt in the fact that deciding where to go is always the hardest part. Usually, people pick up their destination depending on what sort of holiday they want to have. If you want to ensure that you and your travel companions have a great time, then here are some excellent destinations which will allow you to enjoy a memorable fun filled holiday.

Fascinating Cuba

Situated in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba is an archipelago which is very close to the United States and Mexico. The wonderful and extended beach of Cuba attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The country has some of the finest tourist attractions that include reefs, corals, and colourful fish. You will feel uplifted by spending time in the most magnificent surroundings and the atmosphere and nightlife will make your holiday to Cuba feel extra special. Some of the best places to visit include; Villa Clara, Trinidad, Las Tunas, Baracoa, Havana, and Cayo Largo.

Superb California

Also known as The Golden State, California is a wonderful tourist destination for the visitors, especially the couples. The visitors love to enjoy the sunny beaches and theme parks where visitors love to spend time. The Golden Gate Bridge, the Yosemite National Park, Disneyland, Death Valley National Park, Lake Tahoe, and Universal Studios Hollywood are some of the most impeccable tourist destinations that you would love to be at. There are so many fun activities here, it is perfect for families, couples or solo travellers.

Amazing Ibiza

As a part of the Balearic Islands in Spain, Ibiza is a very popular destination for fun seeking holiday makers. The main Ibiza town is just a short taxi ride from Ibiza airport. Not only is Ibiza perfect for people looking to go on nights out and have fun, it is also home to many serene and beautiful beaches and chilled beach bars. There are plenty of street markets to explore, and many family friendly areas too. You’ll find a wide mixture of different nationalities holidaying in Ibiza including French, German, British and Spanish. You can enjoy amazing tapas and sangria, and in the morning you can go for breakfast or brunch and enjoy an espresso to get you ready for the day.

Astounding British Virgin Islands

One of the most inseparable parts of the Caribbean Islands, the British Virgin Islands is an amazing place for the loving couples. Accepted as one of the most popular tourist destinations, it offers natural surroundings in blue sea water, white sandy beaches, and a colourful presence everywhere. The place has some of the finest resorts in the world that offer every facility that you would expect. The nightlife and the party nights are worth enjoying for couples.

Beautiful Thailand

An Asian country, Thailand can compete with any European country in terms of facilities for international tourists. Loaded with the most luxurious facilities, the Resorts in Phuket and some other places are absolutely mind blowing. You would love the Buddhist lifestyle and you can enjoy trying out some meditation to truly relax. If you head to the beach you can enjoy taking part in plenty of water sport activities, snorkelling and scuba diving is particularly popular here due to the beautiful clear waters. You can see the best places to snorkel here.

The world all around us is full of thousands of known and unknown tourist destinations that people love to be, even for a few days. Visit these places whenever you get some time and come face to face with the joys of life.

 

Continue Reading

Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

Trending