My wife and I recently spent a week based in Monticchiello (go there!) driving through Tuscany and Umbria. I originally planned on getting up early and driving to Florence Airport but thought better of it so I started researching interesting towns fairly close to the airport. I decided on Pistoia because of its stunning piazzas and an interesting hotel- Battistero Residenza d'Epoca - go there and rent room 401 with the rooftop balcony - thank me profusely later. As expected we visited the great buildings and cafes - enjoyed ourselves immensely. In the evening we sat outside for our last dinner in Italy, and immediately noticed a difference from the hilltop towns where we spent all of our time. Families - lots of them, multi generations, all shapes and sizes, having the time of their lives as their weekend was beginning. Jammed cafes in the shadows of the stunningly beautiful lit up ancient buildings. Laughing,dancing, strolling and just enjoying each other LATE into the evening. As we settled into our hotel, the sound of laughter and singing made us wish we didn't have to go to bed because of our early flight. We were awestruck by the hilltop villages, but my wife and I agreed that our evening in Pistoia was probably the highlight of our trip. I'm definitely going back some day.