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Tuscany

Destination guide: Tuscany


Tuscany is no stranger to tribute or applause. It’s no novice to tourism or success. And it’s certainly no neophyte when it comes to luxury. And we can certainly vouch for that here at Bridgewater’s Idyllic Italy. There’s probably no need to tell you about how beautifully sublime this famous region is because the likelihood is, you already know. As one of the Italy’s most desirable destinations, and with travel writers depicting nothing but heavenly perfection, there’s really nothing more we can add other than “it’s all true”.
With Florence as its cultural powerhouse, the Etruscan Coast as its outer paradise, and award-winning food and wine as its staple, we couldn’t think of a more impeccable region to visit on your next holiday to Italy. Read on for tips on where to go, what to see and a practical guide on weather/climate and getting around.

Getting There


As we’ve mentioned before, Tuscany is no stranger to tourists so getting to this region from almost anywhere in the world is pretty straightforward. With two international airports, Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa and Amerigo Vespucci Airport (also called Peretola Airport) in Florence, you can reach the region’s major cities without any trouble at all. Book in advance and you may be able to get some amazing cheap flight deals too.

Getting Around


One of the most popular ways to travel around the region is by car and many travellers prefer the freedom of being able to explore different towns without the restrictions of public transport. There are a number of car rental companies and you can pick up and drop off at the two international airports in Florence and Pisa. If you would prefer to use public transport, there are both bus and train services available. Fast trains link up the larger cities such as Florence, Pisa, Sienna, Lucca and Grosseto whilst slower trains link up the smaller towns.

 

Tuscany Properties


 

Casa Fiesole

Star Rating:
If location is your main priority then it doesn't get much better than Casa Fiesole; located in the picturesque town of Fiesole, at only 800 metres from the main square with shops, restaurants, cafes and (not to be missed) the delicious Pasticceria Alcedo.
3 Beds
3 Bathrooms
6 Guests

Casa Montaione

From £298/night
Star Rating:
A charming stone built farmhouse only 1 Km from the nearest village (Montaione) and 20 km from Medieval San Gimignano.
4 Beds
3 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Casa Nocchi

From £262/night
Star Rating:
Featured in the style supplement of the Sunday Times and it's easy to understand why.
4 Beds
3 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Casale Vorno

From £871/night
Star Rating:
Situated in an enviable position, only 10 minutes from the centre of Lucca.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

La Corte di Gragnano

From £731/night
Star Rating:
A truly stunning property situated on the top of a hill with beautiful views of the surrounding vineyards and olive groves.
5 Beds
4 Bathrooms
10 Guests

La Limonaia

From £982/night
Star Rating:
A delightful property situated on a vast oil producing estate which originally dates back to the 18th century.
8 Beds
7 Bathrooms
16 Guests

La Regina di Santo stefano

From £670/night
Star Rating:
This stunning villa certainly has the wow factor.
6 Beds
7 Bathrooms
12 Guests

La Rocca

From £249/night
Star Rating:
La Rocca boasts stunning views of the Garfagnana landscape - an unspoilt region of North Lucca.
3 Beds
3 Bathrooms
6 Guests

Podere Chianti

From £584/night
Star Rating:
The quintessential Tuscan farmhouse - Podere Chianti sits in a privileged position only 30 Km from Arezzo, Cortona, Siena and 62 Km from Florence.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Torre di Talamone

From £1894/night
Star Rating:
Torre di Talamone is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary rental properties on the Tuscan Coast.
6 Beds
6 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Viletta Castelvecchio

From £242/night
Star Rating:
A pretty farmhouse located 2 km away from Castelvecchio di Compito, a small Medieval village on the hills between Lucca (15 Km) and Pisa (30 Km).
3 Beds
2 Bathrooms
6 Guests

Villa Ambra

From £553/night
Star Rating:
Villa Ambra is set in the most desirable location on the beautiful hills in the heart of Tuscany.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Anna

From £349/night
Star Rating:
Situated in a highly privileged location only 2 Km from the centre of elegant Forte dei Marmi and 750m from the beach.
4 Beds
3 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Beatrice

From £436/night
Star Rating:
A Prestigious property in highly sought location 800m from the sea in Forte dei Marmi on Tuscany's golden coast.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
7 Guests

Villa Berardegna

From £1179/night
Star Rating:
Located in a peaceful setting, in the heart of the Chianti region and offering stunning views.
8 Beds
7 Bathrooms
16 Guests

Villa Bianca Lucca

From £466/night
Star Rating:
Stunning, detached villa only 6.5 Km from the ancient walled city of Lucca.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Camaiore

From £218/night
Star Rating:
Charming villa in a peaceful location only 30 minutes from Pisa airport.
4 Beds
2 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Cantagrillo

From £600/night
Star Rating:
Ideally situated only 35 Km from Florence and under 1 hour from Pisa airport.
7 Beds
7 Bathrooms
17 Guests

Villa Castagnori

From £266/night
Star Rating:
A wonderful villa which perches on a hill offering splendid panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
4 Beds
3 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Castiglion della Pescaia

From £781/night
Star Rating:
A superbly stylish villa situated in an enviable location only 5 Km from the highly sought after coastal town of Castiglion della Pescaia.
7 Beds
7 Bathrooms
14 Guests

Villa Caterina

From £1081/night
Star Rating:
An idyllic retreat situated only 1 minute walk from the historical hamlet of Vertine and 2.5 Km from Gaiole in Chianti - location and views don't get much better than this.
5 Beds
6 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Cechello

From £389/night
Star Rating:
Delightful and inviting restored farmhouse between Lucca and the Versilia coast.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Centoia

From £657/night
Star Rating:
This beautiful property is located in a very panoramic position in the southern part of Tuscany, only 15 kms from Montepulciano and 15 kms from the town of Cortona, nowadays known not only for its beauty, but also as the setting of the famous book “Under the Tuscan sun”, by Frances Mayes.
8 Beds
6 Bathrooms
16 Guests

Villa Ciciana

From £450/night
Star Rating:
Beautifully converted farmhouse with colourful interiors.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Clara Lucca

From £856/night
Star Rating:
Elegant Lucchese Manor house only 4km from the centre of Lucca.
10 Beds
9 Bathrooms
20 Guests

Villa Colleoli

From £622/night
Star Rating:
A spacious, airy property in a tranquil location.
6 Beds
7 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Cristina Lucca

From £984/night
Star Rating:
Situated in a tranquil location only 15 Km from Lucca - this formerly hunting lodge has been recently refurbished to offer comfortable accommodation.
10 Beds
9 Bathrooms
17 Guests

Villa Damiano

From £334/night
Star Rating:
A charming villa in a countryside location yet only 1.6km from Camaiore and a ten minute drive from historic Pietrasanta.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Daniela

From £680/night
Star Rating:
With a commanding panoramic view over the tranquil rolling countryside, Villa Daniela has a truly special quality about it.
7 Beds
7 Bathrooms
14 Guests

Villa Dazzi

From £532/night
Star Rating:
A beautiful countryside villa originally dating back to the 17 th century, Villa Dazzi was lovingly restored in 2012.
6 Beds
5 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa della Chiana

From £534/night
Star Rating:
A beautiful 18th century villa situated in the heart of Tuscany amidst 2 hectares of private land.
10 Beds
8 Bathrooms
20 Guests

Villa di Colle

From £328/night
Star Rating:
Completely renovated in 2017 Villa di Colle offers stylish accommodation in a pretty location within walking distance of the local village.
5 Beds
4 Bathrooms
9 Guests

Villa di Marte

From £197/night
Star Rating:
This charming stone built farmhouse perches on a hill in the valley of Pian di Marte on the border of Tuscany and Umbria.
4 Beds
3 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Elizabetta di Santo Stefano

From £815/night
Star Rating:
Formerly a hunting lodge, Villa Elizabetta is part of a 1000 acre private estate which dates back to the 11th Century.
10 Beds
10 Bathrooms
21 Guests

Villa Eugenia

From £196/night
Star Rating:
A 17th century Tuscan farmhouse ideally situated within walking distance of the village of 'Pergo' where you will find a pizzeria, shop and supermarket.
5 Beds
7 Bathrooms
9 Guests

Villa Eva

From £395/night
Star Rating:
Situated on a vast wine producing estate Villa Eva is a great choice for families with young children.
6 Beds
5 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Fabbrica

From £428/night
Star Rating:
Situated in a small village on the hills surrounding Pisa this charming villa offers breath-taking views across the valley below.
5 Beds
3 Bathrooms
13 Guests

Villa Fiesole

From £714/night
Star Rating:
Stunning villa with private garden, pool and outdoor hot tub, situated in Florence, near Fiesole.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Fighine

From £464/night
Star Rating:
An idyllic retreat set in a peaceful, unspoiled corner of Tuscany.
6 Beds
6 Bathrooms
11 Guests

Villa Focette

From £612/night
Star Rating:
Ideally situated less than 200 metres from the beach and a short stroll from many wonderful bars, restaurants and pavement cafes.
5 Beds
4 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Forte dei Marmi 1

From £364/night
Star Rating:
In terms of location it doesn't get much better than Villa Forte dei Marmi; so named because it is only 170 metres from the beach and 280 metres from the centre of this world famous coastal resort.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
9 Guests

Villa Freddano

From £578/night
Star Rating:
This very attractive property is located in an exceptionally panoramic position among olive groves, in the hills between Lucca and the Versilia coast.
6 Beds
6 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Fubbio

From £357/night
Star Rating:
In a sunny position on the slopes of the Luccan hills is an ancient borgo (a very small village), Fubbiano, with old country houses, wine cellars and an olive oil mill.
6 Beds
5 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Ginerva

From £607/night
Star Rating:
Ideally situated only 25 Km from Florence and 4 Km from Greve in Chianti - this charming villa offers splendid over the rolling hills covered with vineyards and olive groves.
5 Beds
3 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Grazia

From £768/night
Star Rating:
A magnificent villa is situated between Viareggio and the ancient walled city of Lucca (Only 12 Km).
6 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Isabella

From £422/night
Star Rating:
A Bright, spacious, modern villa ideally located between the mountains and the sea, within walking distance of Pietrasanta old town centre.
4 Beds
6 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa La Palma

Star Rating:
A recently built villa with a private pool & fantastic mountain views.
5 Beds
3 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa la Rugia

From £321/night
Star Rating:
A typical Tuscan stone farmhouse surrounded by wheat and sunflowers fields.
6 Beds
5 Bathrooms
14 Guests

Villa la Vigna

From £232/night
Star Rating:
A fantastic new addition to our portfolio.
4 Beds
2 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Lavanda

From £323/night
Star Rating:
A former countrry retreat of the local nobility - Villa Lavanda which originally dates back to the 1800s is situated on a family run wine producing estate with 3 private luxury villas within the vast grounds.
3 Beds
5 Bathrooms
6 Guests

Villa Leccio

From £436/night
Star Rating:
A charming Tuscan farmhouse situated on a country estate - Villa Leccio is perfect for those seeking an authentic Tuscan experience.
6 Beds
4 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Lucarelli

From £396/night
Star Rating:
This exquisitely restored farmhouse is situated in one of the most beautiful positions, right in the heart of Chianti Classico.
6 Beds
5 Bathrooms
9 Guests

Villa Lucente

From £999/night
Star Rating:
A stylish villa surrounded by 60 hectares of vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees.
6 Beds
7 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Luiza

From £314/night
Star Rating:
A Tuscan country style property which has been completely restored to offer spacious and comfortable accommodation.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Malmantile

From £350/night
Star Rating:
Beautiful original stone villa built upon the ruins of a Medieval tower less than 15 Km from the famous Renaissance City of Florence and only a few kilometres away from the lovely ancient village of Malmantile.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Marisa

From £509/night
Star Rating:
Villa Marisa is located in one of the most sought after areas on the Tuscan coast only 750 metres from the beach (an easy stroll or bike ride) in elegant Forte dei Marmi.
5 Beds
4 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Maulina

From £372/night
Star Rating:
A lovely farmhouse located in the Maulina hills on a vast Tuscan estate .
6 Beds
6 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Monte

From £474/night
Star Rating:
Beautiful house with infinity pool on the hills of the Tuscan coast with stunning views as far as Elba and the Cinqueterre.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Montepulciano

From £418/night
Star Rating:
Perched on a hill and nestled between woods, olive groves and a splendid countryside, Villa Montepulciano is only 500 metres from Sant Albino di Montepulciano in the heart of southern Tuscany.
7 Beds
7 Bathrooms
14 Guests

Villa Monticchiello

From £769/night
Star Rating:
Ideally situated only 2 Km from the hamlet of Monticchiello this imposing detached villa is surrounded by the spectacular landscape of the Val d’Orcia.
7 Beds
9 Bathrooms
14 Guests

Villa Monticiano

From £2951/night
Star Rating:
We are delighted to have found this Tuscan retreat, ideal for family reunions/weddings/events.
14 Beds
14 Bathrooms
28 Guests

Villa Nicola

From £104/night
Star Rating:
Nestled in the colourful Tuscan countryside, just 8km away from the old town of Cortona, Villa Nicola is a lovely small villa recently restored and finely appointed with a contemporary country-chic style.
2 Beds
2 Bathrooms
4 Guests

Villa Olandese

From £648/night
Star Rating:
An exceptional villa with stylish interiors and magnificent views - ideally situated only 2 Km from the village of Vorno and 9 Km from the centre of Lucca.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Oliveto

From £357/night
Star Rating:
A sensational villa with a private pool situated on the hills overlooking the Versilia coastline - perfect for those looking for something special.
3 Beds
3 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Orcia

From £1179/night
Star Rating:
With its' cosy interiors, whirlpool bath and wellness / workout area - Villa Orcia is the ideal retreat for those looking to escape and unwind.
6 Beds
6 Bathrooms
14 Guests

Villa Orentano

From £642/night
Star Rating:
A charming Tuscan farmhouse located in the Lucchese countryside only 1.5 Km from the nearest village and 15 Km from Lucca and Montecatini (spa resort and gold course).
5 Beds
4 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Panicale

From £201/night
Star Rating:
A holiday at Villa Panicale offers an unforgettable experience.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Pergo

From £193/night
Star Rating:
Villa Pergo perches on a hill with panoramic views of the surrounding valley and rolling Tuscan hills.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Pienza

From £954/night
Star Rating:
A luxury country house which has been restored to a very high standard.
8 Beds
7 Bathrooms
16 Guests

Villa Pietrasanta

From £358/night
Star Rating:
Charming independent stone house with private panoramic pool and beautiful garden.
3 Beds
3 Bathrooms
6 Guests

Villa Poggibonsi

From £951/night
Star Rating:
A beautiful independent villa with pool, ideally located halfway between Florence and Siena.
6 Beds
4 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Radda in Chianti

From £529/night
Star Rating:
The quintessential Tuscan experience in the heart of Chianti classico.
5 Beds
4 Bathrooms
9 Guests

Villa Rione

From £303/night
Star Rating:
A beautiful villa situated on a sunny hillside Villa Rione is surrounded by olive groves and offers breathtaking views of the Valdichiana.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Roberta

From £204/night
Star Rating:
Independent villa with a private pool in a highly sought after location only only 1350m from the beach and 1530m from the centre of Forte dei Marmi.
3 Beds
2 Bathrooms
6 Guests

Villa Rosa

From £517/night
Star Rating:
A wonderful farmhouse full of character.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa San Casciano

From £1100/night
Star Rating:
An elegant villa with tasteful, modern interiors and enchanting views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
7 Beds
7 Bathrooms
13 Guests

Villa San Giovanni

From £275/night
Star Rating:
Stunning villa with private pool set amid the rolling countryside Val d'Orcia South of Siena.
5 Beds
6 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Seminfonte

From £749/night
Star Rating:
A beautiful Tuscan villa dating back to the 17th century, completely restored & surrounded by 90 hectares of olive groves and vineyards.
8 Beds
7 Bathrooms
15 Guests

Villa Stefania

From £120/night
Star Rating:
A bright, modern villa with a well tended garden just over 1 Km from the centre of Forte dei Marmi and within cycling distance (1.2Km) of the beach.
4 Beds
3 Bathrooms
7 Guests

Villa Tegognano

From £802/night
Star Rating:
A small corner of heaven on earth - Villa Tegognano is perched at a high vantage point offering panoramic views of the Chiana valley - only 3 Km from the centre of bustling Cortona This beautiful stone-built farmhouse offers spacious accommodation, an infinity pool (which can be heated), a gorgeous garden filled with olive trees & lavender, stylish interiors which are tastefully furnished and benefit from air-con and wi-fi .
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Theresa

From £193/night
Star Rating:
A pretty villa with wonderful views over the Cortona valley.
4 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Torre Alta

From £727/night
Star Rating:
A truly idyllic setting - Villa Torre Alta sits in a tranquil location with spectacular views of the surrounding hillside.
7 Beds
7 Bathrooms
13 Guests

Villa Toscanamare

From £814/night
Star Rating:
A charming Villa with panoramic views only 6 Km away from the vibrant town of Pietrasanta - 'City of art & artists'.
6 Beds
5 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Tramonto di Cortona

From £699/night
Star Rating:
Situated in a highly sought after location only ten minutes on foot from the centre of Cortona.
4 Beds
3 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Trequanda grande

From £1311/night
Star Rating:
The delightful Villa Trequanda sits on an award winning wine and oil producing estate only 35 km from Siena.
11 Beds
11 Bathrooms
24 Guests

Villa Valentina

From £605/night
Star Rating:
Villa valentina is a private, luxury villa situated on a family run wine producing estate which produces 3 grades of quality red wine.The property has been lovingly restored to a very high standard with tasteful interiors and thoughtful touches which will ensure your stay is a memorable one.
7 Beds
8 Bathrooms
13 Guests

Villa Veronica

From £1450/night
Star Rating:
Surrounded by vineyards in a tranquil location among the Colline Pisane wine hills.
9 Beds
9 Bathrooms
17 Guests

Villa Vignetta

From £838/night
Star Rating:
The quintessential Tuscan retreat highly recommended by Bridgewater.
17 Beds
16 Bathrooms
29 Guests

Villa Vittorio

From £398/night
Star Rating:
Detached villa with cottage & pool in a panoramic position high on the hills behind historic Pietrasanta, (less than 7 Km away) breathtaking views over the coastal plain and out to sea.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
10 Guests

Villa Volpaia

From £396/night
Star Rating:
Wonderful villa in Chianti, with restaurants within walking distance, situated on a renowned local wine producing on estate.
6 Beds
5 Bathrooms
11 Guests

Villa Vorno

From £1761/night
Star Rating:
A magnificent, Tuscan manor house which originally dates back to the 17th century, Villa Vorno is set in secluded grounds filled with lavender, olive trees, roses and bougainvillea.
6 Beds
6 Bathrooms
12 Guests
 

Top 10 Things To Do


 

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous monuments in the world but seeing it on photos really doesn’t do it justice. To really experience the tower and its surroundings, you have to go there for yourself. Because the tower is just one part of the incredible Piazza dei Miracoli, where the most beautiful architecture can be seen and touched up close. The square is very aptly named “The Square of Miracles” and we would recommend getting a ticket to go in and explore the building’s artistry at a more intimate level.

It would be sacrilege to step foot in Tuscany without a few nights in the beautiful city of Florence. This stunning regional capital is home to the most prestigious works of Italian art and is considered to be the birthplace to the Renaissance. The Gallery of Uffizi is a must and you should also make time for the Florence Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio, Basilica of Santa Croche and the famous square, Piazzale Michelangelo.

Siena is one of Italy’s most beautiful medieval cities and you can catch a train from Florence to Siena in less than 2 hours. The biggest square in Siena is Piazza Del Campo and it is known worldwide for its famous annual horseracing event – if you manage to catch this (held in July and August) you will get to experience the electrifying atmosphere as locals cheer on the horses and enjoy a huge street feast.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Tuscany’s busiest cities but still want to soak in the culture and architecture of ancient Italy, we would recommend a day or two in the striking medieval town of San Gimignano. This walled commune is small enough to explore in one day and the medieval buildings just look incredible against the hilly backdrop. Go to the Piazza Cisterna at night and see it light up after sunset.

You’ve probably heard about the incredible food in Tuscany – and we can honestly say that there’s no exaggeration here. Although we enjoy food from all regions, many travel writers and critics will tell you that Tuscan cooking trumps all other cuisines in the world. Unsurprisingly, the region also excels in award winning wines. So if you’re a bit of a wino, head to the Chianti area and take a wine tasting tour. Be sure to visit Val delle Corti, Villa Pomona, Fontodi and the off-the-beaten-path 5-acre Le Boncie.

If you love the Amalfi Coast, you will love the Etruscan Coast just as much. In fact, you may love it even more when you realise that this part of the Italian coast is still pretty much untouched by tourist footfall. Monte Argentario, with its rocky coves and heavily wooded headlands, could be considered a more rugged version of Capri – a version where undiscovered beauty still exists. The best beaches to go to are La Feniglia and Giannella. Or if you want a secluded beach, head to Cala del Gesso for a little peace and quiet.

Just off the Etruscan Coast is Elba Island, a secret little island where sealife is abundant. Renowned for the large variety of different seabeds, Elba Island is the perfect place for a snorkelling adventure. Capo Sant’Andrea, which is known to the locals as the “island within an island” is beautifully preserved and has a huge array of both flora and fauna; the water here is wonderfully clear and with depths of around 10 metres, it’s extremely safe for even beginners.

For post-card perfect sights, you simply cannot miss the Val d’Orcia countryside. You’ll have seen photos of these famous hills before, and even if you just pop by for half a day, it’s worth it just to take in the breath-taking sights of what so many epitomise as the “real Tuscany”. The landscapes are spectacular and we recommend heading there at sunset.

If you want a day of relaxation, take a trip to Manciano to visit the Saturnia Thermal Springs. The warm, sulphurous waters of Saturnia date back to Etruscan and Roman times, and they are said to have healing properties that can soothe and heal a number of ailments. If you’re looking for the ultimate beauty makeover, thermal waters can also help to treat skin conditions and help to naturally exfoliate and deep cleanse the skin.

For an outdoor adventure away from the city streets, why not take a little walking tour of the Vie Cave archaeological site in the Maremma area? This incredible site is made up of narrow pathways that were dug out by the Etruscans into mile high tuff stone. Starting from the town of Pitigliano and leading to Sovana, the walk will take you around 1hr 30 minutes on foot.

Weather


Summer is undoubtedly the best time go to Tuscany. The summer season begins in April and lasts until October, with temperatures reaching 30°C and more during the hottest periods. High summer (July and August) can be extremely hot, humid and crowded so if you’re looking for a more relaxed trip, try visiting Tuscany during the low season. The low season is between November and March where temperatures are much cooler. Not only will popular parts of Tuscany be less crowded but you won’t be caught out by peak prices on travel and transport either.
If you want to catch the first weeks of summer without getting caught up in the tourist rush, we would recommend flying to Tuscany in April and early May. Temperature highs could be up to 28°C during these months, making it a glorious time to visit.

Regional Food & Wine


Tuscany is recognised worldwide for its food and wine excellence. So needless to say, you won’t have a bad food experience when holidaying in this region of Italy. The secret to its culinary success lies in its history of “Cucina Povera”, or what we might call “poor cooking”. And this just proves that in many cases, simplicity is better. The concept of inexpensive food, unfussy flavours and the freshest ingredients makes Tuscan cuisine one of the finest in the world. If you want food cooked with honesty, prepared and served in a traditional way, look no further than the stunning region of Tuscany…

 

Tuscan Dishes to Try


Tuscany is truly “foodie heaven” and you’ll be hard pressed to find a bad eatery anywhere. For delicious and affordable street food (found in major cities such as Florence) we would recommend Lampredotto which is tripe often served in a bun or the various pizza stands you will find around the cities. In restaurants, order Panzanella (cold bread salad) or Crostini Toscani to start – or try something more filling such as Cacciucco (fish stew) or the famous Florentine Steak. There are also some great regional cakes such as Castagnaccio (chestnut cake), Buccellato (fig cake) or Cantucci, which are perfect as an afternoon snack or for finishing off a meal.

Famous Wines of Tuscany


Most of the wines made in this region are red, descending from the Sangiovese grape and many of Tuscany’s wines carry the DOC or DOCG label. Some delicious red varieties to try include the Chianti DOCG, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Bolgheri DOC, Monteregio di Massa Marittima DOC, and the Val di Cornia DOC. If you prefer white wine, be sure to try the Montecarlo DOC, Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG or the Bianco di Pitigliano DOC.

Recommended Restaurants


 

Osteria La Porta, Monticchiello


The hamlet of Monticchiello is home to the world-famous Pecorino cheese and a little tavern called Osteria La Porta is a great place for tasting this local speciality. Known for its hearty dishes and local ingredients, you’ll be sure to get a good taste of Tuscany here. In the heart of Val d’Orcia, the restaurant is blessed with the most amazing country views and the wine cellar offers more than 250 Tuscan wines to complement your meal.

La Pineta, Marina di Bibbona


This is inarguably one of Tuscany’s best seafood restaurants. Set along the Etruscan Coast in the Marina di Bibbona, La Pineta could easily be mistaken for a simple beach hut. But look a little closer and you’ll soon realise that this is the culinary workshop of a Michelin starred chef – and you simply don’t want to miss out on this. Although you can expect fine dining here, the food very much clings onto tradition. Perhaps this could be driven by chef Luciano Zazzeri’s humble past as a fisherman; whatever the case, simplicity seems to rule in his dishes and the menu really is to die for.

Ristorante Ora d’Aria, Florence


Ristorante Ora d’Aria is something of a fancy affair. With slick interiors and immaculately presented food, the concept is a modern take on traditional dining. But you needn’t fear about steering too far from classical Tuscan cuisine; Pisa born chef Marco Stabile stays true to tradition and time-honoured Tuscan techniques.

 

Annual Events


 

Frittelle Festival, Montefioralle (March)


This festival, which takes place every March on St. Joseph’s Day in Montefioralle was designed for foodies. Celebrating the deliciously moreish fried rice cakes, this day is all about coming together and enjoying street-food together. Commencing at 3pm, rice cakes will be fried in a huge communal cauldron and the atmosphere is always electric.

Calcio Storico Fiorentino, Florence (June)


Head to the region’s amazing capital on June 24th to watch as fabulous fireworks fill up the night sky in celebration of the city’s patron saint, St. John the Baptist. During the day, there will be a historical parade starting at Santa Maria Church together with an ancient sport called Calcio Storico.

Palio Di Siena (July and August)


The famous horse racing takes place twice a year, on July 2nd and August 16th, in the large square of Piazza del Campo. Turning the edge of the square into a racing track, the whole of Siena will turn up to watch. The atmosphere is incredible and a huge street feast is prepared and enjoyed by all before the race begins.

 

Giostra Del Saracino, Arezzo (September)


For a little sneak peek into the country’s medieval past, how about this fun jousting event which takes place on the first Sunday in September? The Giostra Del Saracino tournament is held every single year and is fantastic to watch. It’s great fun for the whole family and a great insight into Italy’s rich history.

Carnavale, Viareggio (January)


Carnavale is a lively event which brings locals together to celebrate and indulge in delicious food before the start of Lent. The carnival celebrations take place in the city of Viareggio and include pageants and parades, flower shows, fireworks – and of course, plenty of food and wine.

 

 

 
 

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