Visit surrounding towns.

Florence:

  • Distance by car from La Fortezza:

    • 2.5 hours

  • What to do:

    • Explore like a local: What can I say about Florence? It’s one of the most beautiful walking cities in the world. I think sending you to my favorite blog about Florence would be the best tack to take here: Girl in Florence, Georgette, answers all of your questions and has the most up to date information, and follow her on Instagram, her ig stories are not to be missed as she walks the city everyday sometimes with her beagle, Ginger. Georgette has so many great recommendations her blog is our best resource.

    • Take a Tour: Alexandra Lawrence

      • *TIP book early or you will miss out, she gets booked up quickly.

    • Where to eat:

    • Where to stay:

Genova:

Lucca:

  • Distance by car:

    • 1.5 hours

  • What to do:

    • The Duomo San Martino, which houses among its treasures the Volto Santo, a wooden crucifix said to have been carved by Nicodemus and to have floated across the Mediterranean from the Holy Land (commemorated by a night-time procession in mid-September), Jacopo della Quercia's Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, and Tintoretto's Last Supper.

    • Also see the riotous church of San Michele with its 19th-century add-ons, the small museum at the 'casa natale di Giacomo Puccini', best known of the 11 celebrated composers who Lucca claims as its own, the oval anfiteatro on the site of a Roman arena, the baroque gardens of Palazzo Pfanner (don't pay to go in, just peer down from the walls) and the Palazzo Guinigi with a tree sprouting from its tower.

    • Hire a bike from the tourist office, and you can a ride leisurely around the 4km of walls that surround Lucca within an hour.

    • Book a photography walking tour with Tom English.

  • Where to eat:

    • ANTICO CAFFE DELLA MURA, £££
      Piazzale Vittorio Emanuele 2, Lucca (00 39 583 47962). Go because it is so beautiful, but also visit for the typical Lucchese cooking including a soup made with farro (sweet wheat or speck in English, the world’s oldest grain and a Lucca staple), perfumed risottos, rocket salads, guinea fowl, rabbit and wild boar. Closed Tuesdays.

    • Trattoria Gigi

    • DA LEO, ££
      Via Tegrimi 1, Lucca (00 39 0583 492 236). This very reasonable and very cheerful restaurant within the walls is bustling, friendly and fun. 

    • RISTORANTE GIGLIO, £££
      Piazza del Giglio 2, Lucca (00 39 0583 495 058). This is a classic restaurant by the theatre serving pasta. It is closed Tuesday evenings and Wednesdays all day.

    • LA BUCA DI SANT'ANTONIO
      Via della Cervia, 3
      55100 Lucca (Italia)
      tel +39 0583 55881
      fax + 39 0583
      www.bucadisantantonio.com
       A classic in Lucca

Parma:

  • Distance by car:

    • 1.5 hours

  • What to do:

    •  Borgo Del Balsamico: A secret place, only known to a few, this castle where balsamic is fermented, year after year this black nectar becomes more flavorful. Acetaia/Vinegar houses originated from noble families in the provinces of Reggio Emilia and Modena. 700 barrels , and bins from the eighteenth century contain precious liquids of syrupy the dark of the nectar. Timber-colored woods reveal forms that in the past belonged to ancient crafts. In every barrel subtle flavors, in the old rustic warehouses where hundreds of bottles are set to rest. Visit and find out how balsamic vinegar is made. This is a great place to see on your way to Parma. Set an appointment early in the morning and then head to Parma to explore for the day. The perfect foodie destination. If you would like us to set and appointment for you just email: annette@annettejosephstyle.com

    • Teatro Farnesse - Teatro Farnese came to life as a rich man’s plaything, but it is highly significant in theatrical and architectural history since it is the prototype of the contemporary playhouse. It has a rectangular stage designed to house props for special effects and scenery that creates a perspective, with side wings and a proscenium arch at the front. The auditorium is made of wood with rows of seating. The walls are peppered with recesses housing ornamental pillars, arches, carvings and stucco statuary. Parma was bombed heavily during World War II, causing many of the theatre’s fragile statues to collapse. The building was refurbished in the 1950s and any wooden replacements were left plain to distinguish them from the original wooden features, which are heavily decorated. What remains is delightful, as both a heritage site and a testament to the wealth of one of Italy’s most influential noble families and their capacity to innovate. Teatro Farnese is open from 8.30am to 2pm Tuesday to Sunday. Admission costs €2. The theatre is not used to stage concerts or plays on a regular basis, but during the summer is used for one-off shows and exhibitions.

    • Masone Labyrinth (Labyrinth of Mason), a 20-acre, star-shaped bamboo labyrinth that winds its way around a golden pyramid. Read more about Masone Labryinth here, here, and here

    • La Prociutteria - buy some Prosciutto and Parmesan Cheese!

  • Where to eat:

    • Salumeria Garibaldi, Strada Garibaldi 42 43100 Parma, Italy

      • tel +39 0521 235606

    • Trattoria Sorelle Picchi, Strada Luigi Carlo Farini, 27/A 43100 Parma

      • tel. +39 0521 18 55 966,

      • http://www.trattoriasorellepicchi.com/sorellepicchi/

    • Trattoria Corrieri, Via Conservatorio 1 - 43121 Parma

      • tel. +39 0521/234426

      • http://www.trattoriacorrieri.it

Explore the outdoors.

  • Parks: the loveliest routes are in the parks of the Lunigiana area. From the Apuan Alps to the Tosco-Emilian Apennines, you can explore breath-taking scenery. For mountain lovers, there is a whole range of sport and nature to enjoy. 

  • Equi Terme is located in Lunigiana, under the province of Massa Carrara.
    The town is situated close to one of the most majestic peaks of the Apuan Alps, the so called "Pizzo d'Uccello". Equi Terme has an ancient history - dated back Roman times check out the Apuan hot springs at a thermal pool.

  • Truffle Hunting: Great for a group or on your own explore the forest hunting for truffles with a certified truffle guide and his trusty truffle dog. This trip is extraordinary and ends with a lovely 3 or 4 course  (white or black) truffle lunch at the most beautiful nearby agritourismo Podere Conti. To book this adventure email me. annette@annettejosephstyle.com

5.Truffle Hunting ???