A stunning region of Italy steeped in bucolic beauty: Our Tuscany travel guide

Published

14 April, 2022

Edited

5 September, 2022

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 Travel Advisors can match you to your perfect villa and plan your ideal Italian itinerary for you - welcome to the dolce vita!

Adventure abounds...

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.

Renaissance cities and medieval hilltop towns

Spend a sunny afternoon in the streets of Florence

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.

Soak up the wonderful atmosphere of Siena

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.

Uncover the region's history amid Tuscany's medieval towns

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.

Silky sands and crystalline shores await you

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.

Golfo di Baratti

You’ll find the Gulf of Baratti between the shimmering seas of the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian. A crescent-shaped stretch of fine golden sand and brilliant blue waters, it was once one of the most important Etruscan ports on the Tuscan coast. Less than three kilometres away from the bay is the ancient town of Populonia - yet another prominent landmark in Etruscan history.

Island of Elba

Just ten kilometres off the coast of Piombino sits the gorgeous Island of Elba. This petite, yet stunning isle boasts an array of breathtaking beaches, framed by calm crystalline waters. A wonderful spot for a day of snorkelling and sailing - or snoozing on the warm, powdery sands of Cavoli Beach. Napoleon found himself exiled here during the 1800s, the traces of which can be uncovered in the Museum of Napoleonic Relics and the Foresiana Library.

From the vine to your villa, sample the region’s best wines

The rolling hillsides of Tuscany offer more than just a pretty face - among the region's verdant valleys are acres of vineyards, full to the brim with some of the world's most renowned grape varieties. Among them are the provinces of Montalcino, Carmignano, and Chianti, where rich reds, crisp whites, and sweet dessert wines are produced annually. There's truly no better place to enjoy a glass of wine than the heart of Tuscany itself, and there's plenty of options when to comes to touring the local vineyards.

Tenuta Moriniello

Established and run by two siblings, Tania and Luigi Moriniello, the determined duo searched long and hard to find the perfect place to base their vineyard. Geographic location, soil quality, and sunlight exposure all come into the equation, making it a tricky task, however, they settled on an excellent location in the hills of Chianti and the rest is history. The Tenuta Moriniello estate now produces a wide variety of excellent wines, all of them organic and made in a sustainable manner - respecting nature, the landscape and Tuscany’s rich wine-making traditions.

Castello Banfi il Borgo

Located in the famous Brunello di Montalcino Wine Region, the magnificent Castello Banfi il Borgo is a treat for gourmands and historians alike. A tour of this private estate will take you through the Balsameria - a balsamic vinegar ageing cellar - the vineyards and the winery, followed by a tasting (very important). If you wish, you can also tuck into a delicious lunch of fresh Tuscan produce, paired perfectly with the different wines from the estate.

Fattoria al Dotto

Close by the charming Tuscan town of Lucca, known for the incredibly well-preserved Renaissance walls which encircle the historic city centre, the picturesque Al Dotto farm is well worth a visit. Nestled on the gentle hills just north of Lucca and stretching across 62 acres, this estate produces an array of rich and fragrant wines. Take a tour of their vineyards, cellars and olive groves and learn more about the traditions and processes behind the wonderful world of Tuscan wines.

Enjoy Italy's finest pleasures

Discover the authentic flavours of Tuscany

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Italy’s idyllic countryside with a tailor-made tour of the region. Your personal concierge can advise you on staff-favourite itineraries, as well as arrange private drivers and tour guides. Sample the most delicious wines with a private winery tasting in Chianti, or learn the art of pasta and pizza making with a personalised cookery class in the comfort of your own villa - just let us know what you’d like to do and we’ll plan the rest.

Arnolfo

The esteemed Gaetano Trovato and his team of talented chefs head up the wonderful Arnolfo, a gastronomic restaurant in the pretty town of Colle di Val d'Elsa. Nestled within a medieval palace, this elegant dining room makes a wonderful setting for a date night - accompanied by idyllic views of the surrounding countryside. As well as enjoying an inventive and delectable menu, guests can even spend some time exploring the wine cellar or experiencing a cooking class with the head chef himself.

Enoteca Pinchiorri

Savour Michelin 3-star dining at the elegant Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. The setting of this chic eatery is as impressive as the food itself, and even boasts its own wine cellar with a carefully selected collection of rare bottles. One of the best ways to sample the restaurant's innovative creations is through one of two tasting menus, both with nine beautifully-presented plates to taste - Heart Mother and Evolution.

Trattoria Cammillo

If the authentic, cosy interior of Trattoria Cammillo doesn't draw you in, its delectable menu will. This traditional Italian eatery serves a comprehensive menu of homestyle pasta dishes and freshly-made desserts. Accompanying the delicious food is a curated wine list, featuring a good selection of local whites and reds. Whether it's already one of your favourite desserts or one you've yet to try, we'd recommend the tiramisu - it's creamy, coffee heaven.

Take a little piece of Italy home with you

Carolina Bucci

As a fourth-generation fine jeweller, Carolina Bucci is well-versed in the detail and craftsmanship it takes to create elegant jewellery. From sparkling earrings with pavés of white diamonds and opals to lustrous gold rings embellished with rows of precious stones, you'll want to adorn yourself from head to toe in Bucci's impeccably crafted pieces. If you’re in Florence, be sure to stop by and browse the latest collection - you might just find the perfect keepsake to cherish your Tuscan getaway for years to come.

Ginori 1735

The original Ginori porcelain factory was established just outside the city of Florence in 1735. Tradition here has remained strong, with Ginori 1735 creating designer porcelain using traditional techniques. From dainty tea sets to stunningly detailed plates and bowls, every colourful piece is a feast for the eyes. You can find the latest pieces from this much-loved brand in its flagship factory store within the city, which has since been reimagined and redesigned by Gucci.

Our favourite destinations for food and fashion

Gucci Garden

The fabulous Gucci Garden first opened its doors in 2011 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the fashion house. Charting the evolution of Gucci over the decades, this unique landmark combines a store, an exhibition, and a restaurant. It’s all housed within the four-storey Palazzo della Mercanzia, a 12th-century palace that towers above the Palazzo della Mercanzia.

Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani

There’s nothing like a silky gelato to cool you down from the afternoon heat of Florence. A staple of locals and visitors alike, Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani has been serving up traditional Italian ice cream since 1932. Using the same recipe passed down through generations, they’ve perfected the ratio of cream, milk, sugar, and eggs to create their revered iced treats. The gelato is made fresh every day, and there’s a whole host of flavours to try.

The onefinestay experience

In addition to our 24/7 concierge support, you'll have access to a wide range of exclusive services and experiences during your stay with us. Hone your culinary skills with an at-home cookery class, discover the region's finest wines with a private vineyard tour, or unwind with a soothing massage from the comfort of your villa. Best of all, we'll take care of all the planning for you, so you just need to turn up and relax.

TEMPTED BY A TUSCAN GETAWAY?

If our Tuscany travel guide has got you dreaming of a trip to Italy, contact one of our knowledgeable Travel Advisors and start planning your getaway today...