North West Tuscany
for the independent tourist
I N P I C T U R E S
Perhaps by now one or two regular visitors to martincooney.com may have noticed the appearance, or reappearance, of several posts relating to a very special region of North West Tuscany neatly corralled within the area of Pisa, La Spezia, Pontremoli, Pistoia and Lucca.
It was during the months of April, May and June 2014 that I found myself fortuitously positioned to explore this wonderful region in some depth, and to say that North West Tuscany left its mark indelibly upon me would be to grossly understate the fact that the place has left me totally smitten.
I was to chronicle the experience through my Rogue Carver on the Loose in Italy real time dispatches, and the photos displayed on the tour were used to illustrate my various tales. This time around however the photography is up front and center, and you’ll hear ‘narry a pip from me. The Rogue Carver dispatched journals on the other hand were all about the writing. In Pictures presents each photograph in large format, and aside from a brief introduction they are presented without comment.
I truly feel this is a very special region inhabited by wonderfully charming and forceful inhabitants. As magnificent as the scenery may be its the culture that in my opinion truly sets the far northwestern corner of Tuscany apart from any place I have ever been. During my three months I could have gone anywhere… anywhere in Europe let alone Italy, and I met many a modern day traveler zipping here there and everywhere at the speed of light. The cities were full of them, and I mean full! But no, this incredible, strange little island of culture would simply not let me out of it’s captivating grip.
Leave Florence behind. Leave the thousands and thousands and thousands behind. Leave the world behind….
This is Tuscany… it’s not even Italy, if you ask the locals. “Italy” is a complicated subject around these parts, everyone has a different version of the past but perhaps the feeling here is that everything, and I mean everything… especially food, gets worse the further one strays from their own particular home town. And you know what? They all have a point.
And so, the tour begins in Pisa and ends, appropriate and conveniently enough, in Pisa… comprising of one giant loop.
Lovely, lovely Pisa… with its city center international airport and direct access to the most stunning and spectacular scenery, as will soon be revealed, I really cannot think of a better place in Italy, or all of Europe for that matter, to land.
What a beautiful place this is.
It may be pertinent at this point to draw attention to the fact that during my time in Portland Oregon for a number of years I lived the life of a free-roaming tour guide (independent, of course) with Garavance First Class Tours, a company I ran out of a single, plush, luxurious Ford Astro Van. These were happy times for me. Taking people to my favorite places you see has you see long been a passion of mine. And so here I go again.
Welcome to the North West Tuscan Way
A photographic tour of the region
This is a tour you may join any at any time. Drop by now and then, or follow each post while the virtual ink is still wet.
Each edition of the tour will spotlight one city, village or aspect of the region, and will do so as the title suggests utilizing the photographs I took with my Cassio Exilim.
At this moment in time the tour, after a slow-n-easy saunter around Pisa’s cool and quiet Camposanto, has fled the city and taken to the cool verdant hills in order to explore the marvelous Casoli, Tuscan Village of Art.
A lovely little gem of a village Casoli sets the tone nicely for the cultured little region we are about to explore.
And so… I really hope you will join me from time.
Look for a new tab soon to be located at the top of the page: North West Tuscan Way
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