Tuscany is famous worldwide, and its beautiful landscapes are one of the main attractions for visitors, tourists and expatriates from all over the world. Many decide to leave their home country and permanently relocate in Tuscany. Although a bold move such as this one usually involves paradise islands, Tuscany presents a more concrete opportunity to live “la dolce vita” and realize one’s dreams. But why out of all the Italian peninsula Tuscany gets so much attention and success?
While it is a tough question, a quick answer would be that Tuscany holds a perfectly balanced mixture of natural and man-made beauty, entrepreneurial work and joy of life, a huge amount of culture and history, which is never ostentatious yet proudly shared with those who display interest in it.
Therefore, there are specific things that you should not be missing out, no matter whether you are staying in some Tuscany villa rentals for just a week or are permanently living in this splendid region of Italy.
Thankfully, Tuscany displays a large collection of natural hot springs with great beneficial powers and perfect to relax. There are hot springs for all tastes: from the high-end Grotta Giusti near Lucca, to the free access natural pools of Bagni di Petriolo, where you also have the choice of a thermal resort.
Thermal baths are perfect in any season, and are a special way to spend romantic moments with your partner or share the fun with your children. The deep relaxation that a day in thermal waters can give you is comparable to no other holiday experience. Here are the names of some free hot pools and resort baths for you to pick your best choice: Casciana Terme, Saturnia, San Casciano ai Bagni, San Filippo, Bagno Vignoni, Rapolano Terme, Calidario, and Bagni di Lucca. Enjoy and realx!
Siena is one of the six UNESCO world heritage sites in Tuscany, and is a must visit. During a tour of the region many skip it since it sits outside the main car and train backbones. But as you know, the road less traveled takes you to special places. You should really make it to see the famous Piazza del Campo in all its majesty (better if during the Palio days), the splendid Duomo, or just to get lost along small winding alleys that have stood unvaried for more than a thousand years. Siena is also known as the city of museums, with the highest density of galleries, exhibits, ad historic sites that can be admired all year round. Some of the most noteworthy are the National Gallery, the Museum of OPA, the Santa Maria della Scala, and the Papesse Palace, often the center of contemporary art exhibits. The best way to conclude your day trip is in a typical trattoria followed by a coffee in the splendid cornice of Piazza del Campo.
The Tuscan seaside does not make the must-see list of many tourists, who prefer to dedicate a day to the Pisa tower. While the latter is certainly a unique piece of world culture, the coast of Tuscany offers places of magical beauty you will remember forever. Start from the southern coast and get to the Argentario. It is a scarcely populated area with green woodlands, dropping cliffs over crystal clear waters and precious villages such as Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole and Orbetello, just to name a few. Continue north heading towards Talamone then Castiglione della Pescaia, where an ancient defensive castle is still standing. Continuing north you encounter the delicious Populonia, a small Etruscan settlement with two good restaurants to rest for lunch. Further on you enter the Etruscan coast, rich of nature and history, until you get to the Versilia with its famous Viareggio, Marina di Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi.
These are just a very few places in Tuscany that you should experience, but they will give your vacation in Italy a new perspective that true and tried travel packages are incapable of doing. Going off the beaten path in Tuscany pays off, as you are always in for a surprising discovery, and perhaps finding your future hometown!
Matthew is an expert on Tuscany villas. He loves to travel Italy and is always on the lookout for new and exciting places to share with fellow travelers.