With its spectacular Renaissance cities and undulating, vineyard-dotted hills, Tuscany is a wonderful holiday destination. For a truly unforgettable Tuscan break, we recommend using one of our luxury Italian villas as a base to explore a few of the following highlights…
When visiting Florence, a climb to the top of the world-famous Duomo cathedral is a must, for spectacular views of the city and surrounding hills. Reward yourself with an oversized gelato while perching on the River Arno’s Wall, watching the crowds cross the medieval Ponte Vecchio Bridge. Art-history buffs will want to visit the Italian Masters at the Uffizi Gallery too. We have a number of properties surrounding Florence, do not hesitate to get in touch with our concierge service for advice or to tailor your holiday to your every need.
Staying in Pisa couldn’t be easier! We have a number of properties that will allow you to sample the luxuries and greatness of Italian life, including Casa Felice.
Pisa’s iconic architectural wonder, the Leaning Tower, is a marvellous backdrop to the city’s electric nightlife. Bars and cafes buzz with university students on balmy evenings, making it a fun place to mix with locals. For a more unusual day out, be sure to visit the Battistero (Baptistry) – this breath-taking circular Gothic building has been hailed as “acoustically perfect”, generating beautiful echoes that never fail to impress tourists.
If you’re considering a holiday rental in Italy during the summer, try to catch Siena’s hair-raising bareback horse race. The biannual summer tradition is an unmissable slice of medieval Tuscan life. The city is also well-known for its fantastic food: slip into a trattoria for traditional regional dishes, such as ribbons of pasta in a rich and delicious hare sauce. A lighter choice is ‘nude ravioli’ – spinach and ricotta gnocchi, known as gnudi to the locals. Don’t leave Siena without a traditional panforte Christmas cake tucked under your arm, crammed with warming spices, fruit and nuts.
You can take excellent wine tasting tours around Chianti’s vineyards, or quaff glasses of local Vernaccia and Montepulciano wines in bars throughout the stunning, tiny towns crowning the hills. Hire a car to reach the less-visited spots, like pretty San Quirico d’Orcia or Bagno Vignoni – home to hot springs and a relaxing thermal pool. Villa Fermini, in the Chianti region, offers up to 11 guests its own Chianti wines and extra virgin olive oil from its surrounding agricultural estate.
Tuscany’s quintessential fairytale hilltop town has charming medieval alleys that make for a delightful wander, especially when all the daytime tourists have left. Sit in one of the cafes under the stars, dipping Tuscan cantuccini biscuits into Vin Santo, a famous local dessert wine. The nearby 11th century Villa Roseto has fabulous views of the town and room for up to 14 guests.
Photos of Florence by flickr user: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-yunker
Photos of Sienna by flickr user: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41099823@N00/