You’ ll ask: why a holiday in Tuscany and not in any other place in the world.
The reasons are many, but I’ll try to summarize the most important here!
Italy is an ideal and much sought-after destination for all international tourists. This is because it holds so many natural and artistic beauties, probably more than any other country, and because prices and conditions in Italy are very favourable for tourists from every country in the world.
And I think that Tuscany, in its comparatively small territory, encloses the very essence of Italy, catering also to very demanding travellers and to the the more sophisticated taste.
Even though many other towns in Tuscany are beautiful, Florence is worth a travel for itself. Whether your tour is a perfectly organized one( Duomo, Battistero, Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio…), or you just choose to wander through the city’s beautiful streets, Florence will amaze and enchant you at every corner. You’ll see art and culture everywhere, and you can choose either history or shopping, for instance in Via Tornabuoni, where the most famous brands have their boutiques
Or you can just sit at a coffee table for an aperitif, and enjoying some of the most beautiful squares in the world: Piazza della Signoria, Piazza Del Duomo, Piazza della Repubblica. And have dinner on a great bistecca alla fiorentina. It’s a BIG meal, but you’ll love it!
Then take a good walk Piazzale Belvedere, to behold the whole city from above, with all its monuments shining with lights.
A unique, postcard-beautiful, romantic image, which you won’t forget even long after your return home.
Luxuriant, green, quietly evocative in all its diverse aspects. The countryside is really worth a visit, not just driving through it to the next town, but to appreciate it in depth. The best way is living for some day in one of the many, delightful B&Bs and farm holidays allowing one to savour its rare beauty.
The best-known areas are the Siennese clays, and the Val d’Orcia, or the Chianti Lands. But don’t worry: if your tour is too short to see all, every little corner of the countryside will open its treasures for you, wherever you are. A thousand green and brown hues vary and mix over the seasons and the times of day, there are lines of vineyards as far as the eye can see, evergreen olive trees, and the magnificent yellow of sunflowers and corn dotted with the red of wheat poppies.
Here and there you’ll find cypresses, always, it’s the king of Tuscan trees. In ancient times, it was used to mark the borders of country estates. Also the Garfagnana countryside, though little known, is splendid, it reminds of Alpine sceneries, with the Apuan Alps standing out in the background, as splendid are the uncontaminated forests of Casentino, with their castles and monasteries, and the Pisan Hills, less famous than the world-renowned Siennese Lands, but also rich with vineyards and olive trees that yield many excellent DOC products.
Tuscany boasts a coastline of about 400kms, and an archipelago of at least seven important islands. You’ll have only the embarras de choix, either you want to relax, have fun with any kind of sea sports, or just take a walk in the evening watching the sun going down into the sea. Tuscany suits you in this too.
Tuscany is perfect for families. There are many sea resorts with fine sand beaches and shallow waters up to the open sea. There is no danger, there are confort bath establishments to resort to, and the possibility of enjoying the classical merenda (snack) with pizza or schiacciata that any good drink stall on the beach will serve you.
Or you love lonely, wild beaches? Again, don’t worry, in Tuscany most beaches are still nature reserves or, in any case, inaccessible to most: dunes and wild vegetations, no stalls, nothing but sea and seagulls.
No problems for the cliffs and rock lovers either. The Romito, near Livorno, is the right place for you: nice coves, flat rocks and reefs, crystal waters. Or you can choose the large, beautiful Argentario beach area, with the green of pinetrees and Mediterranean maquis sloping down to the sea.
From the Versilia littoral down to the Pisan coastline, to the marvellous Etruscan Riviera, and the bays of Maremma: you just have to choose the seaside of your dreams.
For a sun and sea only holiday, take a boat and go discover the Archipelago’s islands. Elba, Giglio, Pianosa, Capraia, or the incomparable Montecristo, real gems, as turquoise as the best Caribbean resorts.
A holiday in Tuscany means a travel back in time too. From the Etruscans to the Romans, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, your tour inevitably will lead you through many historical ages, whether you had imagined, and programmed, it so or not.
Every hill bears on top its tiny or large village, with medieval walls and and a Castle or Rock dominating the valley. You will find cobbled streets, wonderful main doors and gates, churches and bell towers not only from the the Middle Ages, but from other periods too. Walking through the narrow alleys up to the Rock, or along the walls, will be a fantastic experience for everyone. The relics of Etruscan and Roman times you will encounter are fabolous: necropolis, amphitheatres, temples, baths… you cannot miss the impressive Baratti necropolis, directly facing the seaside.
Tuscany was the homeland of many great artists and scientists: Dante, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Giacomo Puccini, Galileo Galilei. These are just some names in a very long list. Everywhere you will find a trace of their legacy.
And, remember, to have a chance to behold works of art of great beauty and fame it is not even necessary to visit the Uffizi Gallery: every Duomo, Battistero, Cattedrale, or Palazzo Comunale, even country churches, hide at least one piece of work of inestimable value.
Photo credit Massimo Catarinella
For Tuscan people, eating is not just a matter of feeding: food is really a form of art, and every meal has well defined times and characters.
Food in Tuscany is a pleasure for the eyes, even before the taste. The pleasures of the table have an important social role, people talk about their emotions and the events of the day, and everything is exalted by great, inebriating flavours and savours.
A close attention always paid to local products, seasons and traditions turns Tuscan cuisine into a masterpiece of tastes and authentic ingredients, with wonderful results.
You do not need to spend much money either. You can stay clear of the most famous taverns. Every small tavern in which you will stop will offer local, traditional cuisine, but prepared with the excellent, original products of the territory and accompanied by some of the best, internationally renowned wines.
Every part of Tuscany has its typical, famous recipes. Depending on where you will lodge, you cannot miss the cacciucco alla livornese, the Siennese pici, Pisa’s cecina, or game meat, which is so typical of the Tuscan inland. And these are just some examples.
Wine stands out as the excellent product of these lands: Chianti, the Montalcino and Montepulciano reds, the Bolgheri, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, the reds of the Pisan hills … the list is solo long, and so extraordinary, that great wines can be found for all tastes – and all budgets.
You’ll probably come back home with a whole lot of food supplies, and wishing to prepare for your friends the same recipes you have tasted on holiday.
Maybe you’ll find it strange, but slowness is just one of the main reasons for choosing Tuscany as the destination of your travel. This is an essential character of this land. As you’ll soon discover, your vacation in Tuscany simply cannot be a fleeting, tough and go experience, just running from one “borgo” to another one, from and art city to the next. The very place requires you to do it differently. Stop, savour every corner, and slowly appreciate each new sight
Take long walks, long pauses for your meals, talk with local people
Tuscany is still to our days a world on a human scale, where seasons and the sun beat the times of people, and nature still reigns. It will happen to you first to cross crowded streets full of shiny windows, and just a little after to relax listening to the chirping of the crickets and the song of the nightingales, all in the same day.
Relax and enjoy your holiday: you are in Tuscany.
Tuscany Suits You offers you complete assistance for building your travel in Tuscany, reservations of hotels etc., cars with or without a driver, advice on places to visit with classic and unusual tours and one day excursions, events not to miss, or simply on the right tavern where you can taste the original Tuscan cuisine.