The very best of Tuscany
Culture, cuisine and charming countryside - Tuscany has it all
When it comes to perfect holiday destinations, Tuscany is certainly up there with the best. Known for its wealth of history and culture, this region of Italy abounds in splendid Renaissance cities, Medieval hilltop towns and charming little villages. To make them even more special, these treasure troves of history and art are set against magnificent backdrops of gently rolling Tuscan hills, vast vineyards and ancient olive groves, punctuated by neat rows of cypress trees and the occasional farmhouse.
With a cuisine every bit as rich as its history, gourmands will adore the hearty meat dishes, heady wines and fine olive oils which are to be found in the area’s charming trattorias and osterias. While ocean lovers will be enchanted by the clear waters, rugged cliffs and charming fishing villages of Tuscany’s coastline. Whether you’re dreaming of an epicurean adventure or an activity-focused escape, our team of dedicated travel experts can match you to your perfect villa and plan your ideal Italian itinerary for you - welcome to the dolce vita!
Renaissance cities and medieval hilltop towns
You can’t visit Tuscany without exploring some of the incredible art, culture and historical sites for which the region is known. In Florence, you’ll find a wealth of art galleries and museums hosting a dazzling array of world-famous masterpieces. Spend a day gazing at Michelangelo's David, Botticelli's Birth of Venus, Caravaggio’s Medusa, Da Vinci’s Annunciation and Titian’s Venus d’Urbino, to name but a few incredible works of art. If you’d prefer to make the most of your visit by taking a private guided tour with an art expert, then our services team will be happy to arrange this for you.
Finish off your Florentine adventure with a healthy serving of gelato. Regarded as the birthplace of this delicious summertime treat, Florence is home to some of the best ice cream parlours in the world. The small, family-run Gelateria la Carraia is practically a local landmark - grab a cone from here and take a stroll along the River Arno, enjoying the balmy sunshine and lovely city views. For a spot of history, head to the city's oldest gelateria, Vivoli, back in the day they used to transport the ice down from the mountains for their gelato. Today they use slightly more modern methods of production, but the flavour is still just as special.
A trip to Siena, Florence’s not-so-famous-yet-equally-as-delightful neighbour, should also be on the cards. Tread the ancient tiles of the Piazza del Campo, soaking in the sights and sounds of one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, before ascending the 400 steps to the top of the Torre del Mangia for incredible views over the city and surrounding countryside. Of course, if you’re into climbing towers then the most famous of them all - The Leaning Tower of Pisa - should also feature on your Tuscan to-do list too.
Dreaming of spending a day wandering the cobbled streets of a Medieval Tuscan town? Look no further than the hilltop hideaways of Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Volterra and San Gimignano. Meanwhile, the magnificent town of Montepulciano ticks the boxes for both historians and foodies alike. Picturesque streets, grand Palazzi and ancient wine cellars - this is the Tuscan town with it all. Relax in the town’s thermal baths, sip on glasses of rich ‘ Vino Nobile di Montepulciano’ and eat your way through steaming plates of ‘pici’ - hand-rolled pasta with a meat or cheese sauce. Montepulciano is truly heaven for all the senses.
Beach lovers will be happy to hear that, as well as beautiful countryside, Tuscany is also home to 230 km of breathtaking coast, interspersed with sandy beaches, tranquil lagoons and sleepy seaside towns. Although not as famous as its southern sibling, the Amalfi Coast, the Tuscan coastline is still well worth a visit. One of the spots we’d recommend seeking out is Golfo Di Baratti, a long stretch of silky sand and crystalline waters, which was also once one of the most important Etruscan ports of the Tuscan coast. If you’d like to do a bit of exploring, then set off on a quest to find Buca delle Fate (Fairy’s Hole) - a wonderfully-secluded pebble beach which emerges after 20-minutes of trekking through a magical Mediterranean forest.
Venture off the Tuscan coast to the island of Elba, famous for being Napolean's place of exile, and you'll find an array of pristine beaches waiting for you. Cavoli Beach is notorious for its silken white sands and raucous parties, while the crystal clear waters of Laconella Beach are perfect for those seeking peace and tranquillity. Meanwhile, children will love exploring the unusual rock formations at Chiessi Beach over on the west side of the island. The smooth surfaces of the stone slabs here mean that they double up perfectly as waterslides, diving boards and launching pads into the sparkling ocean below.
There are so many things to do amidst the rich and diverse landscape of Tuscany it’s hard to know where to start. Adventure lovers and active types will want to get out exploring, either by foot, by bike or even by boat. The region is interwoven with ancient paths and lanes, some dating back to the Roman times, and boasts excursions suitable for every age and experience level. Simply speak to the onefinestay team and they will advise you on a suitable route, arrange a guide and shuttle and organise a lovely picnic lunch for you to enjoy en route.
Exquisite food + fragrant wine
Should you prefer something a little less active (it is a holiday, after all) then why not opt for a wine or food tour? Explore some of Tuscany’s finest vineyards, learning about the age-old methods of production before sampling a selection of the finest vintages. Alternatively, opt for a trip to an ancient olive grove, marvelling at the gnarled trunks which have withstood countless generations, still producing a rich and fragrant oil to this day.
For those who like to be hands-on, a pasta-making class with a local chef is the ideal way to appreciate the Tuscan cuisine while learning some new skills to take home with you. Forget the hassle of organising and booking and let our expert local team do it for you, using their insider knowledge to craft you an unforgettable foodie adventure.