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The fabulous road trip itinerary ACROSS Tuscany

Taking epic pictures right from the car? Scenic drive through the countryside? Vineyards, thermal springs, UNESCO World Heritage? Look no further than Tuscany.

Inspirational around Tuscany road trip itinerary for scenic drives.

The historical charm

Bassano del Grappa might be the starting point, but the preserved medieval charm with a striking mountain backdrop simply lures you in to stay.
Dating all the way back to the year of 998 and fast-forward to the 16th century, a small town became known for its flourishing industry, especially ceramic works grappa (the strong Italian aperitif) and today it is most recognizable for its symbol – the old & soulful medieval bridge spanning over the river Brenta.
Whether it’s those little piazzas, that crisp mountain air or lovely churches with ancient castles and intriguing museums, staying in Bassano del Grappa will be your authentic and unforgettable experience and a perfect way to kickstart the around Tuscany road trip exploring vineyards and beaches .

Adriatic coast beach road

Stops 1&2 , (see the map at the end) covering 235 km – just enough for a day’s drive.

From one idyllic coast to the other, in one road trip with no hassle at all. Italy is one of the few of those unique countries that can offer that. We start off by riding along the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, the turquoise and beautiful Adriatic Sea.
First, we pass through and stop to admire Delta Po for a while, one of the largest wetland areas in the continent. Not only its where nature and people live side by side, but it is also home to more than 400 species of birds. A true paradise for nature lovers!
The Tuscany road trip of vineyards and beaches continues with the roads being close to the shore until we reach a lively and vibrant area of Lido di Savio, lined up with restaurants, camping sites, and hotels. A perfect place to finally unpack that tent!

Two days in the fabulous Tuscany vineyards

The next destination is only 200 km from the Adriatic cost. The two days break in itinerary. Absolutely worth of spending two days (stops 3&4) relaxing in the beautiful scenery, flying drone and tasting wine🍷 .

chin chin

Click on the picture to open the map in the new tab

Cascate del Mulino

Only 127 km away the thermal springs are waiting, I hope for a cool weather to relax in the naturally warm water …

Just a few kilometers away from a small village Saturnia, natural and heaven-like waters spring to life and rushes down to create thermal waterfalls that are cherished and admired by both locals and visitors.
Rich in Sulphur and other minerals it comes from an underground source, there is nothing quite like enjoying a truly natural and healing phenomenon that warms your body and soul to and is accessible all the time and free of charge!
And to add the cherry on top, how about that Old Mill, perched just above the waters and green lush and mountainous landscape as a backdrop to all of this? Wow!

The Cascate del Mulino (in the photograph aboveThe composition of the deposits, from the scientific point of view, are composed of “a sulphurous-carbonic, sulphate-bicarbonate-alkaline mineral water, and includes among its peculiarities the presence of two dissolved gases such as hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide“. The thermal waters have a temperature of 37.5 °C and therapeutic and relaxing properties.) are probably the most famous natural springs in Tuscany. The waterfalls are made of several natural pools of warm thermal water, as well as a relaxing waterfall. They are open to the public and free throughout the entire year.


Portoferraio 2 Nights break from the around Tuscany road trip

Here we go – another excitement the stop 6 after 171 km and a shot ferry ride

As vineyards and thermal waterfalls fade away in a rearview mirror and the road trip is progressing, as special as those places are, something lovely is coming up on the horizon and it is only right that we dedicate 3 beautiful days and 2 peaceful nights in the island of Elbo, and its biggest city – the historic Portoferraio.
A former exile of Napoleon has truly a lot to offer, especially for nature enthusiasts and active travelers. Anything from exploring small picturesque villages, strong fortresses and intriguing museums to hiking up the mountains, spending time in some of the finest beaches or even diving to discover shipwrecks. You name it!
Founded in 1548, the town of Portoferraio itself will not only offer a diverse choice of accommodations, but there’s nothing quite like those buildings perched on steep slopes while surrounded by mountains and the sea. Island of Elbo is truly a diamond in a rough, just one step off the coast of Tuscany!

Cecina stopping by

Can you feel the gentle breeze already? We are closing into the long-awaited coastline of Ligurian Sea.

From first glance, Cecina might seem like a small and quite simple coastal town, but in reality, it’s a treasure chest worth millions, waiting to be discovered!
Where waves rise and fall, you will find golden sand beaches surrounded by a centuries-old pine forest and its beautiful trails that invite for a fantastic outdoor recreation, whether it’s hiking, biking or horseback riding, take your preference and discover great diversity in vegetation and wildlife together.
And to wrap it all up for nature lovers, there are campsites to pitch your tent and sleep under the stars!
It’s also an ancient land, dating so far back, even to the Neolithic period and is fond of archeological sites, exhibitions, artifacts and ruins with roots digging deep into our world’s past.

Pizza passing through

After unlocking as much treasure from Cecina as possible during our stop there, we continue onwards to our next pass-through stop, the city of Pisa. Sounds familiar?
If you have a chance to visit the iconic city and even more legendary leaning tower of Pisa, you take it! The city is just spectacular as it hosts an unmatched sightseeing experience with history and timeless architecture, as well as charming rivers and mountains in the distance.

To wrap it all up, head up to climb the famous tower that just keeps on leaning to catch some premiere vistas of the city and take the mandatory selfie 😄


Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park as the last stop for the road trip itinerary across Tuscany

255 km and two sightseeing stops will be busy day, a quiet evening in with two days of wilderness adventure ahead to conclude my vacation

Nature-lovers rejoice! Another jewel is on the way. A big one, in fact, taking over more than 26,000 hectares together with some of the highest peaks in the region and unique flora and fauna that thrive in these high mountain areas.
While glacier craters are sparkling with pristine lakes and wild rivers run through striking valleys, this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve breathes life with wolves roaming through rare orchids and golden eagles flying above looking down on plants and bushes that date back to the glacial era.
It presents an extraordinary chance to wake your inner adventurer up and venture out, whether it’s hiking or biking! The park is also equipped with an extensive variety of choices for accommodations, including various campgrounds, mountain huts, and even hotels. Find your peace here, in the vastness of pure nature.

And with all that mentioned about the park, having a wild camping affair sounds just about right! As much as the wild and breathing natural surroundings invite and tempts us for wild camping overnight to get even closer to nature, unfortunately, it is illegal in Italy.
The vast area of the park hosts multiple campsites that are just as wild and close to nature as it can be, with some of them providing mountains views of a lifetime.

Anafi 1.5.6
Count the stars, reflect on the beautiful trip or maybe even start visualizing the next one.

Goodnight!

InRoute app is used for the travel planning.

The best thermal SPA in Italy, Swiss and Austria Alps

The trip starts from Bergamo airport with the duration of 600 km lasting 8 hours 45min without stops. However life is for living, hence the 4 stops to experience the beauty of nature and indulge in the best thermal SPA retreats in the Alps.

Stop 1: San Pellegrino thermal water

30 km and 40 min from Bergamo airport and you are in San Pellegrino to enjoy a thermal bath in the world’s most famous water.

An avenue of fragrant lime trees, the ancient mescite room and a designer facade are just some of the highlights of a building that is a true monument to water. TheThe wellness pathway is structured throughout two separate buildings with over thirty spa practices including panoramic tubs, sensorial tubs, waterfalls, Kneipp therapy, Vichy showers, saunas, steam baths and a solarium garden. “Vita” spring gives us thermal waters rich in bicarbonate sulphate, calcium, and magnesium flowing pure and uncontaminated through layers of rock, from which the water erodes precious mineral salts.

Thermal SPA in the Alps
Restored frescoes, colonnades and early twentieth century ceilings merge with modern architecture.

Stop 2: Overnight in Locarno & Thermal SPA Salini in the Italy Alps

Locarno is 141km and 2hr 25 min drive away from San Pellegrino 

Locarno is an Italian-speaking resort city in southern Switzerland, on Lake Maggiore at the base of the Alps. It’s known for its sunny climate. Founded in the 12th century, the old town’s Castello Visconteo houses the Museo Civico, which showcases Roman antiquities. 

Locarno’s historical funicular is your most confortable and romantic option to visit the Sacro Monte Madonna del Sasso and the starting point for mesmerizing excursions into the hilly mountains of Locarno.

Salini & Thermal Spa Locarno

An oasis of peace and rest that offers all the rituals for true relaxation. The Termali Salini & Spa wellness centre is one of the best thermal SPA in the Alps. Adjacent to the Lido of Locarno, the Thermal SPA boasts a remarkably wide offering of saunas and thermal spring water swimming pools.

Thermal SPA in the Alps
The building which is home to the “Termali Salini & Spa” centre, designed in the studio of Moro&Moro, is of great architectural quality and its transparency mirrors the beautiful surrounding landscape. .

Stop 3: Hotel 7132: the masterpiece inspiring senses

After driving 154 km, 2 hr 25 min you arrive at the tiny village Vals in the Swiss Alps. And you don’t come here to ski. You’ll find a wonderland for design buffs. 

The impressive architecture! The ancient beauty of the mountains all around! It all comes together for a total relaxation to switch off from the daily hustle. This design masterpiece is build around thermal spring water offering pools and saunas to treat your soul and body. It is certainly the best designed thermal SPA in the Alps.

Thermal SPA in the Alps
The Grisons architect Peter Zumthor didn’t just build the thermal baths – he created a masterpiece out of 60,000 quartzite slabs. A homage to Vals and the archaic natural setting of the 7132 Hotel. An architectural milestone that was classified as a listed building shortly after completion. Having won national and international awards, the thermal baths attract those in search of relaxation as well as architecture enthusiasts from all over the world.

The prices in Hotel 7132 starts from €600 per night. However, there is another architectural pearl – the house of Architects. The four top architects – Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Tadao AndoKengo Kuma and Peter Zumthor – have been tapped to contribute the designs. The House of Architects features a lobby and entrance designed by Morphosis Architects. And 7 different room designs are centered around a single material. The price in the house of Architects starts from €360 with access to SPA (€76) inclusive.

Stop 4: Aqua Dome the thermal SPA water jewel of the Austria Alps

In 3 hours, 239km and lunch in Liechtenstein, you can reach the final destination of the journey Aqua Dome.

As far back as the 16th century, the area was known for its healing springs. Today, the Aqua Dome uses the rediscovered healing thermal spring water for your healthy relaxation. Aqua Dome might compete for the title of the largest thermal SPA in the Alps.

According to chemical analyses, the water that flows from deep inside the earth is a sulfur spring with a divalent sulfur content of 5 mg S–/l. It is legally recognized mineral spring. With the speed of 3 to 4 liters per second, the water bubbles up to the surface. Wonderfully warm and pure, right into our thermal baths. Feel the strength of the springs!

The Aqua Dome 4* hotel offers accommodation from €288 with breakfast and dinner on Sunday nights. The thermal spa & sauna are open until midnight on every Friday ! Enjoy the moonlight buffet and prosecco in the thermal bath restaurant Einkehr from €9.80 pp.

12 pools and 7 saunas will fill your day with tranquility. There are also wide variety of SPA and beauty treatments available.

Thermal SPA in the Alps
The perfect end of the trip: DELUXE SPA EVENING
Treat yourself with the entire offer of the AQUA DOME on the exquisite deluxe spa evening. The exclusive atmosphere in the thermal spa area and sauna area as well invites to relax and regenerate.
The grand journey across the Alps: 600 km Italy, Swiss, Liechtenstein and Austria.

VISITING Mount Pilatus

Lucerne is lively city on the lake well known for the preserved medieval architecture with Mount Pilatus majestically reflecting in the lake . The city burst with laughter and joy, the lakeside restaurants are full with people and many attractions available on the lake. You can rent varieties of floating devices or step on the board of cruise boat.

Enjoy a scenic 1-hour cruise in Lucerne onboard a fantastic panoramic yacht. Sit back and relax as you cruise towards Meggenhorn Castle and admire the views of luxurious villas, hilly landscapes, and the deep blue lake.

Lucerne the place where culture, history and nature collides

The most popular event is Summer Festival 16.08.-15.09.2019 offering four weeks of more than 100 classical music stars performances in one place .

For the nature admirers there is The Golden round trip that takes you to the most spectacular spots on the Mount Pilatus. Scenic boats, cogwheel railway, aerial cableway and Panorama Gondolas are at your disposal. To experience the golden round trip, you really need to stay two nights in Lucerne.

The best start of the trip is heading out to Kriens and going up to Mount Pilatus with gondola. Take the train and boat combination back to the city. You can also spend a few hours hiking and enjoying the magnificent view before heading back, if the weather is nice.

Places to stay when you are visiting Mount Pilatus

In my last trip, I have chosen to stay in pedestrian part of the town where numerous hotels are located right on the lake with frontside restaurants invitingly laying right on the walkway. It’s a great choice and reasonable price if you book the last minute (€100) however you cannot park the car in the old town adding extra parking cost for the night (~€20) when parking at the train station.

The most exquisite place to stay is hotel Bürgenstock offering the Alpine Spa relaxation and wellness over 10,000 m2. This is absolutely stunning architecture master piece that you cannot skip visiting when in Lucerne.

Located in the heart of the resort, Bürgenstock Hotel offers breathtaking views of the lake Lucerne from its 102 rooms & suites
Innovative architecture and floor-to-ceiling windows reveal stunning lake and mountain panoramas. Urban. Chic. Breathtaking.

If €1000 per night seems a bit high, then you can always book a treatment in the Alpine SPA and visit the place while staying in the city centre to enjoy the lively night life.

Alpine SPA – the wellspring of vitality and a new zest for life. Wellness & wellbeing – floating between water and sky. Immersed in a breathtaking view of Lake Lucerne and the iconic Alpine landmarks, pamper yourself with an exclusive wellness experience. Enjoy the breathtaking view from the infinity edge pool and dive into a diverse spa landscape

The other hotel choices could be Cascada Boutique Hotel aprox £241 per night or Radisson Blue hotel for aprox £250 per night.

The trip is over, the journey is not

The trip had a perfect ending – the stylish and comfy Indigo hotel in the center of the Shakespeare town Stratford-upon-Avon.

After the 2000 miles I certainly deserve the super comfy bed and a cup of rosebud tea provided by Indigo hotel.

Happy me

The rosebud tea, the scent could not be pictured

The Netherlands- Belgium- France- Germany-Austria-Italy-France route took 16 days and I crossed Alps twice. There is so much to see in the area – I am coming back to explore the thermal waters, see the map below.

The best Thermal SPA across the Europe

Follow me to the journey through the thermal spring places including Evian, SPA, Chaudfontaine.

The shortest return trip from Lucerne to Calais (Eurotunel) is via France. There is the famous city Reims on the way with champagne houses and vineyards- but that’s for another trip.

The drive through France was very pleasant, highway with speed restriction 135, almost no traffic. Made it in one day.

The fairytale castle

There are many rankings of the world most famous castles but Neuschwanstein is in all of them. It is called fairytale castle due to the idealised romantic architecture.

It took me 6 hours to drive 633km with average speed 106km/h and fuel consumption of 8L/100km from the stop 3 on my way to Venice. I arrived when the castle was closed and I was relieved seeing the crowds of tourists leaving. I had the castle surroundings for the exploration on my own. There might be up to 6000 visitors a day in a summer period.

Although it was getting dark and raining heavily- I managed to get some decent shots on my iPhone XS.

The last two pictures were taken from the skywalk bridge that was slippery, covered with snow and the wooden planks were bending under the weight of people exposing the depth beneath.

Despite of the looks, the castle is not medieval, Ludwig II constructed this fairytale castle in 1869 for pure pleasure and to the honour of Ludwig Wagner who never visited the place. Ludwig II himself spent only 11 nights in the castle and it was never finished even at Ludwig ‘s death in 1886 (in 17 years). Many rooms are empty and not completed today. According to the initial plans, the castle was meant to have more than 200 rooms. The unfinished part is not open to public, only 14 rooms can be visited.

The iconic Cinderella’s castle at Disney World and Sleeping Beauty’ castle in Disney Land are modeled after Neuschwanstein Castle.

Tomorrow I will continue my journey to Venice, only 4 hours to drive till the next stop in Bassano del Grappa.

Back to Amsterdam- Venice road trip

And…The Journey Begins

Don’t we all like the beautiful travel images posted on the instagram, well – at least the likeminded people that are social media savvy 😉

But what’s behind the image? How to plan the travel? What tools and apps to use? How to use the technologies to advance our life? How to make the travel effortless?

Behind my scenes blog will capture the story behind my instagram pictures by sharing the knowledge and my personal experience how to use tools for travel planning, picture editing, notes taking, gadgets and everything else that helps us to enhance our lives.

Continue reading And…The Journey Begins