Torrita di Siena, Grappa Town
The Hill Town Torrita di Siena is a pretty, red brick medieval hill town with a real-life vibe away from the crowds.
Torrita di Siena ‘Little Tower Of Siena’ feels very Sienese. It is not actually our nearest town (that would be Sinalunga, we see it from the house) but it is ‘our’ town in being the centre of the ‘Commune of Torrita di Siena’. And so when we were restoring the house, and when we were married it was there that our plans were approved (or not) and there that our civil ceremony was held.
I was there briefly this morning, having had a wedding enquiry and going in to the town hall to find out the answer to the couple’s questions. I had left our 6 month old baby napping, and so was in a bit of a rush. I have boosted the images to bring out the reds that get bleached out by the high sun late morning.
Snapping madly in all directions as my flip flops were giving way under my feet and I scrambled around to get all of my little administration jobs done before Henry woke up I was struck by the deep reds of the brick work and the total absence of tourists… what has happened?
Granted, Torrita has zero souvenir shops and has always been very much a real life place, there have never been many tourists but surely one or two intrepid types who like to head out searching for that elusive ‘Real’ living Tuscany away from the crowds were here and there all Summer long. But this morning so quiet…
So I popped into the spotless ‘pro loco’ pro-local tourist office to ask them how things were going … crisis apparently, very few tourists around this year. Big changes in Tuscany since the Trip Advisor Overall Tuscany ranking changed (disappeared) and was replaced by 200 odd different zones… have you heard of Trip Advisor I asked Guiseppe?
No!, he said….hmmm, I said, that might be one of the problems.
Since 2013 countryside areas are falling off the map in Trip Advisor terms, we don’t have large numbers of hotel rooms or numbers of tourists to talk about us, and so like a snake that eats it’s own tail the zones with more reviews generate more visitors and the zones with fewer reviews – get fewer visitors…So whilst Trip Advisor is certainly a brilliant way to double check on places that you’ve chosen to visit it may not be the optimal tool for discovering more ‘secret’ areas of Tuscany with lower visitor numbers.
But that’s what you’re looking for, right? – so how do you expect to find a sweet red brick Tuscan hill town full of locals going about their daily lives if you are following the crowd ? –
Now back to Torrita di Siena. Perfect for a local feel, a taste of that elusive Real Tuscany. I need to get back to my baby who is crying…