Explore the Sunburnt Landscape of Tuscany
When you book a stay in any of the lovely villas in Tuscany to explore the surrounding region, the experience can bring some surprising results.
You'll be spoiled for choice if you decide to rent on of the excellent holiday villas in Tuscany. From picturesque cottages to Gothic castles, there is a style of accommodation to suit every taste. Whatever you want out of your holiday, this stunning Italian region will never disappoint.
The richness of the region can make it a bit difficult to decide how to spend your time, but this is a part of Italy you can return to again and again and still see something new. Florence boasts the wonderful Galleria d’Uffizi, and this in itself really deserves a week to explore. Displaying artistic treasures and masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo di Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titan, to do them justice takes far longer than a day or two. The actual experience of seeing these incredible paintings and statues in person is indefinable - the sheer magnificence and power they have is a memory that will last a lifetime.
Drink of the Gods
When deciding on which of the many villas in Tuscany to rent, spend a bit of time narrowing down just what you want to achieve. There is no point in trying to fit too much in - as activities like visiting art galleries can become rather exhausting after a while. Luckily, this region offers one of the loveliest places in Europe to relax and spend a day feeling at peace with nature. Just south of Pisa, in a quiet wood called San Fillipo, there are some hot mineral springs called Fosso Bianco. Containing a high proportion of sulphur, you can bathe in the warm pools and stand under the waterfalls as they cascade from one calciferous basin to another. This type of 'wild swimming' is the sort of thing that will make your holiday one to remember: a magical interlude surrounded by trees, birds, butterflies and perhaps a glass of Chianti.
The stunning city of Siena is most definitely worth a visit. Siena once rivalled Florence as a banking power but declined in fortunes in the 13th century. It is essentially largely unchanged and is a wonderful example of a well-preserved medieval city (it escaped damage during the Second World War). The city is famous for the mediaeval Corso del Palio, where horses race around the large Piazzo del Campo twice a year, July 2nd and August 16th.
There is an excellent selection of villas in Tuscany in this area and day trips out will enable you to see a lot of the surrounding area as well. Cars are restricted in the old walled centre of Siena, however, and you have to park outside the ancient walls. (If you do not get a special permit and you park inside, you'll end up with a big fine.) Although a car is a great idea for visiting out of the way places, restricted cities like Siena and Florence are easier to get to and from by bus. The Italian buses are extremely regular to both these cities.
Enjoy the Tuscan Landscape
Of all the villas in Tuscany that are on offer, choosing a renovated farm house surrounded by olive trees and the rolling sunburnt countryside will perhaps give you the best sense of the timelessness and endurance that is such an integral part of this part of Italy.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Magoni is Senior Manager of Cottages to Castles, a family owned company specialising in high quality holiday villas, apartments and cottages in Italy. For spectacular villas in Tuscany or accommodation in the Italian lakes, ski resorts or city centres, we offer only the very best. Discover Italy at your own pace and without time restrictions in our hand picked villas and cottages.