Tuscany holiday highlights

Visit the exclusive seaside town of Forte dei Marmi, a mecca of designer boutiques, stylish beach clubs and great restaurants. A 20-minute drive away is the pretty seaside town of Viareggio famed for its long beaches, pine forests, Liberty-style buildings and renowned summer carnival. Within easy reach of Pisa and the medieval city of Lucca, this is a great base for exploring more of Tuscany. For a magical night under the stars, Torre del Lago’s Puccini festival held every July and August has a full calendar of opera held in locations including an incredible 3,400 seat open-air theatre.

A journey through rural Tuscany will see you visiting the magnificent medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, a sprawling land of vineyards in Chianti and a trip inside the well-preserved ancient walls of Siena. Head to the medieval piazza, Campo, visit the dazzling Duomo, the crypt, baptistery and Museo dell’Opera. Drive through the wilder parts of Tuscany for tiny wine towns, ancient hilltop villages, Renaissance churches and active monasteries.

Where is Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in central Italy bordering Liguria to the north west, the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west and Umbria to the east. Its capital is the historic city of Florence and it’s divided into ten provinces including Lucca and Siena. The vast landscape of Chianti sits between Florence and Siena and stretches almost into Pisa to the east.

Getting around Tuscany
Hiring a car is the most flexible way of exploring Tuscany. The roads are good – if not sometimes busy around Florence and Siena – and the pretty winding back roads are much quieter offering beautiful scenic routes to tiny villages and towns. Driving around historical centres is not permitted so we advise parking your car just outside and then walking in.

Food & drink
A gourmet adventure with specialities varying in each area, expect a focus on fresh local ingredients, renowned wines and Tuscan olive oils. Grilled and roasted meats are high on the list as is cucina povera – hearty but simple food made with fresh produce. Make sure to try homemade ribbons of egg pasta, Florentine T-bone steak and the classic Tuscan antipasto misto. You’ll find pretty tavernas serving classic dishes, excellent pizzerias and centuries old buildings housing restaurants with extensive wine lists where you can try those famous sweet and dry reds. Book a wine-tasting tour to discover some of the region’s most renowned wines and learn how to pair them with your favourite Italian dishes. A private cooking lesson with a local chef is the perfect opportunity to discover the secret to creating authentic Tuscan recipes and a visit to Chianti over the last weekend of May during the festival of Cantine Aperte is a chance to enjoy free wine tastings as many of the vineyards open their doors to the public.

Tuscany key facts

Time difference

GMT +1 hour

Currency

Euro

Flying time to destination

2 hours to Pisa

Language

Italian