Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis “Life offers you a thousand chances, all you have to do is take one.”

So says Frances, the lead in the Hollywood blockbuster, Under the Tuscan Sun. Based on the memoir by Frances Mayes, the film tells the story of a woman who, while on Italian vacation, impulsively buys a dilapidated villa in Tuscany, following a heartbreaking divorce in San Francisco. While tracing Frances’ journey from a life of seeming perfection to breakdown, and then through a sensory feast of discovery and delight in Tuscany, we see how Frances gradually heals and realises that “unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game.”

Reignite one’s childhood enthusiasm the Italian way

Tuscany is not just a balm for people whose lives seem to be falling apart, on the brink of a breakdown or checking into “Camp Divorce” (as Frances’ friend Patty refers to it).  Italy exists for anyone looking to fall back in love with life. As the film illustrates, it’s hard to pound your fists at the world for too long when you’re in Italy. Although initially lodged in sadness, Frances gives into the everyday pleasures of the country: licking gelato from an ice cream cone with gusto, admiring the great masterpieces of Rome, riding on a Vespa along the gorgeous cliffs of Positano, and on a late summer’s day in Cortona, taking a break from looking for the magic of ladybugs and simply dozing off in the sunshine, only to wake up with schools of graceful little beetles resting on her wrists.

Follow in Frances’ footsteps on a journey through the most spectacular parts of Tuscany

  • Don a headscarf and drive an open-top vintage car through the Tuscan countryside.

  • Experience the postcard perfection of Positano: sip chilled limoncello at a beach cafe,  hop on the back of a vespa, and soak up this jaw-droppingly beautiful stretch of the coast.

  • Marvel over an old medieval tradition as you watch the ‘throwing of the flag’ in Montepulciano.

Find your own villa in Tuscany (even if only on Italian vacation)

As Frances says, “I mean who wouldn’t want to buy a villa in Tuscany. But, uh, the way my life’s been going, that would be a terrible idea.” The glamourous Katherine offers a mischievous look and replies, “Terrible idea. Mm… Don’t you just love those?”

Even if you’re not quite ready to purchase a villa of your own, experience the joy of staying in one while on Italian vacation.  Make yourself at home in your very own Tuscan villa. Pick grapes on neighbouring wine farms. Learn the culinary secrets of the region before joining in a feast with a table of locals.

So what makes for a truly life-changing Tuscan experience?

Although Frances initially comes to Italy on a ‘Gay and Away’ tour bus, it’s only when she makes a break from the crowd and settles in Cortona like a local, instead of a tourist, that heartwarming things start to happen. She develops relationships and immerses herself in the spirit of Italy. It’s this authentic experience of the country that companies like Charme & Adventure make possible.

For those even with limited time to spare, they take you into the thick of authentic experience on one of their luxury tours of Italy. So you can experience the artisan markets of Tuscany’s many hamlets, admire the lesser-known but mesmerizing versions of The Last Supper, and stay in villas ranging from character-filled to sumptuous.

Skip the tourist bus and conventional haunts and head straight to the heart of Italy as the Italians live it, on an Italian vacation with Charme & Adventure. Charme & Adventure specialize in authentic luxury tours of  Italy tailor-made to suit you. Contact them here to find out more.

by Luca on Sep 18, 2015