Ahhhh…beautiful Tuscany! Your cheery sunflower fields, majestic cypress trees and breathtaking countryside knocked my socks off (or I guess I should say knocked my sandals 0ff since nobody wears socks in July in Italy). Five years ago, we visited Florence, Venice and Rome as part of a two week Europe trip. While we loved seeing the bigger cities, we were hankering to explore the countryside and we were certainly granted our wish on this trip!
Read on for a peek at my tall travel style for this trip and also some photos of our shenanigans.
Day 1: A Drive Along the Coast and Arrival at our Tuscan Villa
After our splendid few days in Piedmont, we took a Sunday drive along the coast to our next stop in Tuscany. Since we would be in the car most of the day and it was sweltering, I opted for comfort in the form of a very loose-fitting outfit. If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember this photo of the top and you can see that it has a lowish, criss/cross back which cuts down on the frump factor of this outfit a bit. While I love each piece of this outfit separately, I’m not sure I’ll ever wear this outfit again. If I did, I might hike the skirt up to show a bit more leg.
As we drove on a dirt road toward our villa, we came upon this lovely scene of sunflowers, vineyards and cypress trees. Quintessential Tuscany! The only thing missing is some olive groves.
Upon arrival at our villa, part of which used to be a castle, I forgot all about the heat and my frumptastic outfit and soaked in the gorgeous views.
That evening, we enjoyed a lovely dinner on the terrace with sunset views of the Tuscan hill town San Gimignano and the surrounding countryside.
For even more photos of the villa, check out my review of my Long Tall Sally mixed print maxi dress.
Day 2 – A Daytrip to Cinque Terre
What I Wore:
Loft Tall Midi Dress (Also shown here)
Banana Republic Belt
Paul Green Sandals
Marc by Marc Jacobs Crossbody Bag
On our drive along the coast the day before, we kept seeing glimpses of colorful seaside towns perched on the cliffs, and I was just DYING to spend some time near the water. I checked the forecast for the Cinque Terre area and it showed a high of 82. This sounded like pure heaven compared to the high 90s we’d experienced the previous few days so we decided to trek back to the coast on Monday. We drove the two hours to La Spezia, parked the car and then hopped on a train to the fishing village of Riomaggiore.
Since our main plan was to take a ferry boat between all of the villages, I didn’t think we’d have time for a dip in the Mediterranean and opted not to wear a swimsuit. I chose a basic black flowy midi dress from Loft’s tall line because I didn’t want to wear anything too tight and I figured the black fabric would disguise any
sweating “glowing” I might do. I broke up all the black with my favorite tan belt from Banana Republic and finished the look with my new Paul Green sandals. Don’t you love the colorful buildings and all the laundry hanging out to dry?!
After getting off of the train, we walked up some stairs and plopped down for lunch at Bar e Vini a Piè de Mà which was perched on a cliff allowing for beautiful water views. The food was so-so but the view! I think it speaks for itself.
After fueling up, we wandered down the steep narrow lanes toward the harbor. Now here’s the thing – there really wasn’t a breeze and the weather was insanely humid so my goal of seeking out cooler weather didn’t really work. At least it was pretty and bright! There isn’t much of a beach here so people just lay out on the rocks. Doesn’t look very comfortable to me – but hey – to each his own.
Cinque Terre means “Five Lands” and is made up of five towns. We had planned to take a boat to one of the other towns (and that way we could also see the other towns from the boat) but there was a large crowd of sweaty tourists waiting by what I think was the tiny boat ticket booth (although it was very unclear). In our heat-exhausted state, we decided we didn’t have it in us to try to battle the Sweaty Bettys for a spot on the boat. Instead, we just wandered around Riomaggiore a bit, had some ice cream and then hopped the train back to our villa. Perhaps we will make a return trip to this area and actually stay in one of the towns so that we can have a more well-rounded Cinque Terre experience.
Day 3 – Tuscan Wine Tour with Marialuisa of My Tuscan Wine and Tours
What I Wore:
Long Tall Sally Floral Shirt Dress (Also shown here)
Paul Green sandals
The day after our Cinque Terre outing, we embarked on a full day wine tour of the Chianti Classico area with our lovely guide Marialuisa of My Tuscan Wine and Tours. This was a group tour with 2 other couples (that we didn’t know) and we had a fairly good chunk of the globe covered – a Canadian couple living in San Diego, a New Zealand guy and Swedish girl who live in Australia (and were on their honeymoon!). Combine that with Americans living in Europe (that would be us) and an Italian guide, and we were all set for a multi-cultural experience.
After Marialuisa picked us up, we drove down some windy, narrow dirt roads until we arrived at our first winery – Villa Caffagio – an organic producer of Chianti Classico and a couple of other wines. We were treated to a full tour of the winery before our wine tasting.
Things that make me feel short – huge barrels of Chianti Classico!
I’m finding that my new LTS green floral shirtdress is the perfect throw-on-and-go piece for when I want to look put-together but don’t want to think about my outfit to much. The eye-catching print and flattering cut of the dress saves it from being boring as throw-on-and-go styles can sometimes be.
Another highlight of the tour was visiting Marialuisa’s family winery, Cezani, which is near San Gimignano. Her family has owned the winery for 75 years and she and her sister are the 3rd generation to help with the family business.
We enjoyed the cozy wine tasting room and also loved trying a white wine unique to San Gimignano here – Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Day 4 – Strolling Around San Gimignano
What I Wore:
Midi Dress from White House Black Market
Paul Green sandals
On our last day in Tuscany, we ventured over to the hill town of San Gimignano. We had been gazing at it from afar from our villa for a few days so it was high time we had a gander.
As you can tell from the above photo, San Gimignano has a ton of towers.
Of course, the town was very crowded with tourists. I was thrilled to find some quiet streets for a little break from the crowds. I can’t believe how much wear I’ve gotten out of this WHBM dress and it’s another one of my “throw-on-and-go” favorites.
You may have noticed that I wore my Paul Green München sandals A LOT on my Italy trip. With their leather footbeds, fashionable straps and neutral color, they proved to be great for walking while still maintaining some semblance of style! I plan to do a full review of both pairs of Paul Green sandals soon. Until then, here’s a closer look. You can find Paul Green at Nordstrom in the U.S. or at various stores in Europe.
And because one can never have enough lavender in this life, I leave you with this photo:
Have you ever been to Tuscany or Cinque Terre? What are your thoughts on travel sandals? Do you have a pair you swear by? Do you tend to gravitate toward throw-on-and-go styles when traveling or do you like to put together outfits with more pieces?
You might also like…
Quick Guide: Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Tall Girl’s Fashion
Traveling Alone: Why Everyone Should Do This At Least Once, Tall Wife
Favorite Outfits From 2014, Tall Fashion Adventures