Is Niagara the New Tuscany

Vineyard in Niagara on the Lake
Vineyard in Niagara on the Lake

What does the Niagara Region in Canada have in common with Tuscany Italy you ask? Well, maybe you didn’t, but here we are, ready to explore the similarities between these two incredible places.

Niagara is well known for the world famous Niagara Falls, one of the eight natural wonders of the world. Tell anyone in the world you live in Niagara and they’ll exclaim with excitement, “Oh wow! you live near Niagara Falls?” Then you must go on to explain there is so much more to Niagara than the falls. And yes they are a spectacular sight.

A recent trip to Tuscany brought to light the many similarities Niagara and Tuscany share, and deepened my appreciation for both areas. The wineries, the natural landscape, beautiful gardens, lovely people, hillside vistas, country roads, and a slower pace of life are some of the similarities these two regions share. And oh yes, they’re both under the same sun.

Of course we’ll start with the wineries. Both Niagara and Tuscany are famous for the many vineyards dotting their green, rolling landscapes.

Cortini Family Vineyard Tuscany Italy
Cortini Family Vineyard Tuscany Italy

In Tuscany several areas produce world-class wines. Montalcino, Montepulciano, San Gimignano, and of course Chianti, which is the most well known. I’ll share some of these with you in a future post.

In the Niagara region grapes are grown in Grimsby, Lincoln, Beamsville, among others, and of course the better known town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Like Tuscany many areas in the Niagara region produce award winning wines. And Niagara wineries are growing in popularity as more people discover the area and the over 100 wineries we have here.

Along with wine production comes beautiful vineyards. Driving through the country roads of Tuscany is similar to driving along the country roads in Niagara. Though Tuscany has many narrow roads along the edge of high hills, in Niagara the roads are much wider, but the view is equally stunning as green, lush vineyards roll by.

Olive tree in Tuscany Italy

Aside from wine, Tuscany is famous for its olive trees and the production of Olive Oil. Olive trees don’t do well in the Canadian cold of the Niagara Region, however we have plenty of tender fruit farms. Niagara peaches are the best, and many a resident waits excitedly for the August peach harvest to begin. Nothing compares to that feeling of lush, freshly picked peaches in your mouth, the juice dripping down your arm. If you haven’t tasted a Niagara peach, you haven’t lived.

Did you Know: The Niagara Region and the Chianti Classico Region in Tuscany are on the same latitude band.

The abundance of home gardens and flowers everywhere in the summer time is another similarity shared by residents of both Tuscany and Niagara. Wherever you go in Tuscany you’ll see beautiful little home gardens and clay pots or old wine jugs filled with geraniums, hydrangeas and sometimes even olive trees. Flowers cascade over balconies just like you’ve seen in movies. And the size of the hydrangeas turned me green with envy.

Pink hydrangeas in Tuscany Italy
The huge hydrangea blooms of Tuscany Italy

In Niagara our home gardens are not much different. Summer always feels too short, so we tend to our flowers with the same care and love as the Tuscans. Growing an abundant, colourful garden in the summer is a gift that doesn’t last long and needs to be cherished. I’m still working on my hydrangeas, and summer is almost done. Eek!

Another similarity I noticed is in the people. Though we speak different languages, the people in both regions are down-to-earth, open to chatting, and ready to share their love for their country and home spaces. And often will share their wine. Insert here a smiling me with glass in hand.

“Where there is no wine there is no love”Euripides

There’s something to be said about the slower pace, the sun shining on your shoulders as you walk down a quiet road with just the breeze for company. Both Niagara and Tuscany make it possible to experience that pace. And both have a large city not too far away where the pace of life changes considerably, making you appreciate those quiet country roads all the more.

In this new blog of mine I hope to share with you all the joys of Niagara, and also about my trip to Tuscany. You’ll find it easy to see, as I did, that Niagara is the new Tuscany. Perhaps the next Netflix movie we watch will be called Under The Niagara Sun.

I hope you’ll click the Subscribe button below and share in my adventures around Niagara, Tuscany, and …

Now tell me, have you ever been to a place that you thought was just like home?