Dreaming + Summer Vacation

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dreaming + Summer vacation–It’s mid February and that means one thing—It’s time to start thinking about summer travel.  It might be that’s it’s cold and dreary, but about this time of year I can’t help but thinking about a big family vacation.  Our kids are seniors– 17 and 22 so for the last several years I keep thinking this is the last one.  And if this is the last big one, it has to be great.  It’s never gonna be the last family vacation.  I’ve been told that if we keep paying, they’ll keep coming along.  Sometimes we have so much fun that we keep going back to the same place.

Tuscany, Italy

Borgo Scopeto Relais is one of those places.  We discovered Borgo through a google search after seeing the adorable movie, Letters to Juliet back in 2010. When we realized the hotel near Siena depicted in the movie was actually a real hotel and not just a movie set, we made a reservation.  And as beautiful as it is in the movie—it’s even better in person.


The Hills of Tuscany, Italy

Sunset in Tuscany with views of Siena

It’s easy to see why so many artist are in love with Tuscany.  The light is amazing.  We chased the sunset on many nights winding through country roads in search of the perfect opening at the highest point.  We found fields of sunflowers and lavender.

Driving through Tuscany

All roads lead to gelato in Florence, Italy

All roads lead to gelato while sightseeing in Florence.

The hills of Tuscany in August

I’m not sure the time of year the movie was filmed, but I have a feeling it was July/August because every where we went looked like we driving through the movie.

Sunflowers in Tuscany

The cottage at Borgo Scopeto Relais

Borgo Scopto Relais

Borgo Scopeto Relais

Borgo Scopeto Relais

Borgo Scopeto Relais is what led us to this spot in Tuscany in the first place.  This place is so special.  You can read about the history here.

We stayed in a cottage and the kids shared a room in the main building.   It’s quiet and around every corner there are amazing views of Siena.  You can use their mountain bikes to ride through the vineyards, or play tennis and of course in August, the pools are inviting.  Resort time sprinkled in with a little sightseeing makes for a perfect vacation.


Last year we discovered the cemetery that was in the film while driving around at sunset.  A little further down the road we found the perfect spot for dinner.  It’s called Osteria Cacio e Pepe.  As you might guess, their signature dish is a bowl of cacio e pepe.  It might be the best bowl of simple pasta ever.  Under string lights overlooking a vineyard at sunset with my favorite people.  I love family vacations!

Osterio Cacio e Pepe in Tuscany

Sunset over Tuscany

A cappucino in San Gimignano at dusk

Tuscany is one of our favorites destinations and one we keep going back to—creating different memories each time.  What’s your favorite place?  Do you keep going back or are you on to the next adventure?










  • Garden, Home and Party

    what a magical place. I’ve never been to Italy but there have been so many friends that have said we must go. Your photographs are wonderful!

  • Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

    gorgeous! and so far mine are still coming, though a little bit younger than yours. But I always wonder the same thing – is THIS the last one?

  • kim

    Annie, Gorgeous pictures! We have a spot we loved in the hills of Florence that we loved too. With the kids it’s even more wonderful. I am hoping to go back one day…I have to see that film. This looks like a beautiful spot. I am always torn, do we go back, or try something new? I am usually in the ‘let’s do that again’ camp and my husband Max wants always to go somewhere new…We are trying to plan ours now. xx Kim

  • cindy hattersley

    I am dying to get back to Tuscany. We stopped at the place you stayed on one of our adventures. All I can do is live vicariously through your pics right now!

    • annie

      To me it seems like you live in the California version of Tuscany. Your home and surrounding are stunning!

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