What could possibly be better than springtime in Italy, Tuscany and Abruzzo to be exact? Springtime in Italy from behind the wheel of a classic Italian roadster like an Alfa Romeo Giulietta, touring the countryside with the top down, soaking in the Italian sunshine.
Last fall I had the opportunity to visit the province of Abruzzo as part of a group, touring this undiscovered gem in an iconic Fiat 500, better known as the Cinquecento. Having visited Italy many times, touring in a late model rental car, the Cinquecento gave me a unique, unhurried perspective of Italy at its best.
Following the Abruzzo tour, my companion Susan and I decided to spend a few additional days in Tuscany. There we were able to locate a classic car touring company--with over 30 vintage Italian, British, French, and German roadsters--who put us behind the wheel of the equally-iconic Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Over the next three days we explored Tuscany, the museums of Florence, the Siena countryside, and Cortona, best known as the setting of "Under the Tuscan Sun" on our own.
Finally, after arriving at the Hotel San Simeone in the village of Rocca d'Orcia in Val d'Orcia at dusk, we were able to relax. The hotel, once part of an abbey, was just about ready to close for the season so we had the place to ourselves and walked a short distance to have dinner. We were unprepared for what awaited us in the morning.
It was at breakfast, surveying the 180-degree view of the Val d'Orcia from the hotel terrace, that it came to me: What a glorious way to introduce car enthusiasts to the splendor of Italy! As Susan and I discussed the possibilities, an idea was hatched. Why couldn't Automotive Traveler host an escorted classic-car tour of Tuscany and Abruzzo?