Tuscany offers a rich combination of culture, historic cities, antiquities, agreeable climate and friendly locals it encapsulates everything that is beautiful about Italy. Its cities such as Lucca, Pisa, Siena and Florence offer magnificent gothic, Romanesque and renaissance buildings and works of art. Tuscany has also been home to some of Italys most talented artists and writers, such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Dante. And it really is this rich mixture of art and history that defines Tuscany and sets it apart from its counterparts.
The towns and countryside
Something that you will find is that the regional landscape is very diverse, from the rolling hills and vineyards of the Chianti region around Siena to the rugged coastline around Argentario and the Apuan Mountains in the north. "Chiantishire" the stretch between Florence and Siena still houses some of Tuscanys most charming villages such as Castellina, Radda in Chianti and Gaiole. Slightly further to the West of Siena are some of Tuscanys best-preserved medieval towns, such as Sam Gimignano and Colle di Val D'elsa. For those loving the mountains, the rugged area to the north of Lucca, called the Garfagnana, is a treat. This area offers pretty stone villages perched on hilltops, especially in and around the towns of Bagni di Lucca and Barga.
What to do
This is a region that is drenched in culture, so expect an array of festivals, especially in the summer months that range from simple flag waving village affairs to the world famous horse racing Palio in Siena and the Viareggio carnival.
Shopping is a favourite pastime in Italy and Tuscany offers great style and quality, especially in fashion, leather and also home design and furniture as well as antiques. For clothes shopping, Florence is second to none with fantastic boutiques and out-of-town designer outlets. Siena is also becoming a shoppers paradise and Arezzo houses the largest outdoor antiques fair in its square and you can also find outdoor antique fairs in Lucca and other towns.
Italy is not known for its Golf but for Golf lovers, Tuscany really does steal the march with courses around Florence, Montecatini Terme, Punta Ala, Tirrenia and Orbetello amongst others. Other activities of interest include sailing and diving (especially along the more southern coastline around Argentario), horse riding and fishing.
Food & Wine
An unmistakable ingredient in Tuscan life is its cuisine; good traditional food using fresh ingredients and is full of flavour. The region also produces some of the most famous wines in Italy, with Chianti being the most famous and Brunello di Montalcino being considered to be the best.
Where to stay
Holiday Homes in Italy offers a wide range of self-catering accommodation in Tuscany, click here to view our collection of properties.
How to get there
Pisa airport is the main International Airport in Tuscany and the number and diversity of flights has increased dramatically in recent years. Amerigo Vespucci airport in Florence also has possibilities from the UK.
As a holiday destination, Tuscany does not disappoint. Accommodation is generally to a high standard and typical farmhouses and apartments epitomise the escapism of living in rural Italy - usually built in stone, these dwellings exemplify the ancient rural architecture of Tuscany. The region offers a landscape that has the most lasting charm. It has an abundance of medieval towns that are second to none and a sheer beauty that it difficult to rival. A simple walk becomes a joy in these surroundings and you are faced with hundreds of years of civilisation. Strolling through medieval streets, you will fall upon endless art and architecture that is second to none.
For those simply wishing to relax, the beaches are lovely and most countryside properties have a swimming pool, perfect for lazy days to soak up the beautiful surroundings. The combination of coastline, mountains, countryside and beautiful towns and cities such as Florence, Siena, Cortona, Lucca, Montepulciano (and we could go on) is truly hard to match.View properties in Tuscany
Wonderful Villa with pool and breathtaking view near MontepulcianoFind out more
Exclusive country estate with pool, situated in the surroundings of Ragusa, for your self catering holidays in SicilyFind out more