About Tuscany

Tuscany - Italian Breaks
Search

PLANNING A HOLIDAY IN TUSCANY



There is no better place to admire the beauty of nature than in Tuscany, which was created with love, being perfectly aged. Let yourself amazed and get ready to discover the place you will easily fall in love with.

Tuscany's wonderful landscapes with green hills interlaced with vineyards is the perfect place to relax your senses while walking through the forest, smelling the fresh air, viewing the vivid green of the trees, getting closer to the intimate, authentic atmosphere and weather.

Tuscany has two very diverse faces - the first one is characterized by art such as Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa, followed by the second one which is mainly considered to be the countryside of the region, with small villages, castles, villas and vineyards.

CITIES OF TUSCANY - THE CENTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL ART SCENE

There is a special taste that you might want to try, because Tuscany is said to offer so many pleasures. Embrace the possibility of selecting a guided tour in order to facilitate your trip through the Tuscany's "cities of art " such as Florence, Siena, Pisa and Lucca.

In only one day you can explore the best of what Tuscany can offer on a full day guided coach trip from Florence. You will also have the possibility to experience both the excitement and stimulus of the cities of Florence and Siena and the beauty and tranquility of the Tuscany countryside.

An organized tour combines daily planned activities along with unstructured time that you might want to spend as you like. The first stop of the day will start with the gothic Siena, famous for its mediaeval streets.

Before enjoying a real and delicious Tuscany Italian grill you might want to explore a stroll through the Chianti vineyards, olive groves or the wine cellars.

Surrounded by grapevines you'll have the opportunity to meet fellow travelers while feasting on local foods including cold meats, salads, pasta and bread. A wine-tasting class will be held during lunch including free samples of wine and olive oil which are also available for purchase.

Florence walking tour is another option that you can embrace, if you want to go for a walk around the streets, to explore the depths of the historical city and to discover the mysteries of Piazza del Duomo, up to the central avenues paved with stone, where you'll find authentic masterpieces whenever you direct your gaze.

The leaning tower of Pisa is one of the most famous structures to visit in Tuscany and a well prepared tour is the key to exploring the " Field of Miracle ". Once in Pisa you'll be taken to admire the architectural beauty, the Leaning Tower, followed by the trip around the cathedral.

Hikes, cooking, and insider shopping can all be part of your individual, personalized, historical and great connection with all the private and hidden places, providing you the luxury of always having your interests first.

INSIDE GUIDE OF THE HABITS IN TUSCANY

When you plan a holiday to Tuscany you must be aware of the variety of traditions, habits and customs that you might want to discover. Starting from food festivals and continuing with the historical folklore, all of these are special occasions when you can admire wonderful shows, you can either dance freely with the local citizens and if you plan a trip with the entire family, your children will be delighted by the amount of games performed in the middle of the streets.

Just imagine yourself spending a whole day near the events prepared by the volunteer citizens and gaining rapid access to understanding the culture and customs of the places where you stay during your Tuscany tours. It is said that after of glass of the local wine, some steak with ravioli and cherries, everything will be much more easy and pleasant. On the other hand, if you are an art lover, you can even take part to a master class where you can learn the art of handcrafting.

DINING OUT IN TUSCANY

As a Tuscany tourist you surely want to experience the region's delicious specialties at the most affordable restaurants. Eating out in this lovely region is not as expensive as you might think if you choose wisely, especially the wine. For example, the home made wine, which is the most drinkable and the most delicious, will push your bill with only a few euros. With only 15 Euros, you can taste a pasta dish or a main course, plus either an antipasto or a dessert. There are also restaurants where you can get a full meal, at the same price.

Here are three affordable restaurants that we have visited:

LOCANDA APUANA, situated above the sea level is a very interesting recommendation whenever you want to enjoy a satisfying meal and a wonderful view. What should you try? Layers of fat from the pig's back are laid in marble troughs and cured in a mix of salt, herbs and spices: sliced wafer-thin, the result is a milky-white, aromatic and surprisingly sensual palate teaser. Their own lardo is served with juniper-infused fig jam or with a biting watermelon mostarda pickle (€6), wrapped around stuffed rabbit loin for a savory, salty hit (€9) and used to give depth to roast potatoes. If you don't fancy eating raw fat (although round here, they extoll its health-giving properties), try the tordelli, half-moon-shaped ravioli filled with a mixture of meat, spinach and ricotta (€7).

BAR DELL'ORSO, despite not having a very inspiring design is located in one of Tuscany's prettiest hilltop villages, being a useful stop between Florence and Siena. Are you in for a roaring trade in panini e merende, or sandwiches and snacks? Well, this is the place to be. There is also a menu of hot dishes, but many people come here for the platters laden with cheeses and salumi. All these are sold by weight, but a generous mixed platter for two including marinated artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes comes in at about €20. The local Chianti Colli Senesi at €7 a liter is a perfect accompaniment. Avoid weekends: the place is always packed.

TRATTORIA BONINI is a modest place where, on weekdays, €12 will buy you a two-course pranzo di lavoro, or working lunch, that includes wine, water and a plate of fresh fruit to finish. On Thursdays there is bollito misto (mixed boiled meats) served with piquant salsa verde and on Fridays baccalà (salt cod). The delicious bread, fresh from the family bakery, is an added bonus. At weekends, steaks, roast meats and festive pollo fritto (fried chicken) push the prices up to a still affordable €25/€30 a head.

THINGS TO DO IN TUSCANY - TRAVEL INSPIRATION

There are endless possibilities of things to do and explore once you step on the magnificent region of Tuscany. First of all:
- Step back in history and learn about the most important facts of the area.
- Pleasure your senses with the taste of the local wine
- Discover the artistic treasures of Tuscany during the day trips
- Explore the charming villages such as: Florence, Siena, Pisa and Lucca

TRADITIONS, CULTURE AND FESTIVALS



Tuscany is the land rich in traditions and folklore festivals, which are held in the small villages with the purpose of sharing the cultural traditions of Italy and to celebrate and to remember some specific periods that define the Italian history. Attending a festival is a great opportunity for you to get closer to the folklore while you enjoy great live music, animation games and good wine.

In the first weekend of each month you can enter a world full of fairs, in the historic center of Tuscany, where you can admire the market exhibition of flowers called " Verdemura " and the most attractive Venice Crafts.

EASTER - THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR

Tuscany is very catholic and the religious events are the most impressive ones. Therefore, the best time to visit Tuscany is at Easter

A big and 500-years-old tradition is a procession where hundreds of people are wearing historical robes and walking through the streets of the capital of Florence.

TUSCANY IN THE SUMMER MONTHS

Starting from June and ending in September, the evenings are dedicated to food and local crafts. This is the best time when you can find seasonal products like: steak made on the grill, which is going to be one of your favorite memories to share after experiencing the unique tastes and recipes available at the local restaurants.

The most appreciated festival that you might take into consideration is the Truffle Festival. The truffle hunting tour in Tuscany is a great experience that will sure turn on your food instinct. You will enjoy great hours, walking through woods, picking rare truffles and then you will enjoy your treasure in a meal.

Each province you choose on your next trip is going to satisfy each and every desire that you embrace. Don't miss the Festival of Fish, which lasts 20 days and the Grape Festival in September.

You can also visit:
- Monsummano Terme where you can visit "Grotta Giusti" with its thermal pool, natural cave with mud and other body treatments.
- Pistoia is famous for its Renaissance square.
- Lucca, a city surrounded by beautiful ancient walls. It is famous for its oval square built on an ancient Roman amphitheater.
- Pisa is of course famous for its leaning tower!
- Florence is best known for its museums and Renaissance palaces.
- Sangimignano, famous for its medieval Towers.

A STEP BACK IN THE HISTORY OF TUSCANY

There is also an impressive history of over thousands of years with endless museums, medieval castles, fortresses, watch-towers, town walls appear, Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance palaces, historical buildings, streets, that will fascinate you

The birth of the Italian Renaissance, during the 14th and 15th century is a result of the contribution of great artists, starting with Dante and Giotto. Under the patronage of the Medici, an extraordinary blossoming of intellect and culture developed in Florence like: Brunelleschi, Donatello, Alberti, Ghiberti, Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

If the Renaissance gave us Michelangelo or da Vinci, then the Medici themselves gave us the Renaissance! The Medici family, also known as the House of Medici, emigrated to Florence from the Tuscan hillside sometime during the 12th century. Through banking and commerce, this family soon rose to become one of the wealthiest families in Italy. However, it wasn't until the 15th century that the Medici began turning their wealth into political capital, making themselves the unofficial, yet undisputed, rulers of Florence.

The unique setting of the House of Medici can be explored during an organized tour, which offers you the possibility of walking through the state apartments and to get a flavor of the Medici life style and times.

 
Events in Tuscany

Events

When

Where

Details

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino May and June Teatro Comunale Via Solferino 15 - 50123 Firenze Ticket Office: Corso Italia 6 - Firenze
Tel. +39 55 27791
Presales and Bookings:
Tel. +39 055 211158 or 213535
Fax +39 055 2779410
www.maggiofiorentino.com
e-mail: tickets@maggiofiorentino.com

Firenze TEATRO COMUNALE All seasons Corso Italia 16 - 50123 Firenze Tel. +39 055 211158 or 213535
Fax +39 055 2779410
www.maggiofiorentino.com
Arezzo GIOSTRA del SARACINO (Joust of the Saracen) First Sunday in September Arezzo (Tuscany) Tilting contest of the 13th century with knights in armor.
Siena Musical Weeks August Accademia Musicale Chigiana Via di Citta' 89 - 53100 Siena Tel. +39 0577 46152
Fax +39 0577 288124
www.chigiana.it

Sansepolcro PALIO dei BALESTRIERI (The Palio of the Archers) Last Sunday in May Between Gubbio (Umbria) and Sansepolcro (Tuscany) Medieval crossbow contest between Gubbio and Sansepolcro with medieval costumes and arms.
Siena PALIO July 2nd and August 16th Piazza del Campo, Siena (Tuscany) Procession and horse race. Participants are members of ancient city districts, competing for the banner (Palio). Colorful medieval pageantry.
Viareggio CARNEVALE (Carnival) February or March (according to Easter) Viareggio (Tuscany) Highlight of the Carnival festivities is the procession of spectacular and colorful floats.