This one is going to be a long weekend and while most of us have already planned our trips, there are some who are still thinking. Now it is not very difficult to plan a trip some place in India, because – no passport or visa required, no great expenses and definitely, you are with your own people. But, if you are willing to take an impromptu, fun trip across the borders, what do you think of the idea of luxury holidays in Tuscany?
No, it is not that weird, if you come to think of it. Luxury holidays in Tuscany are quite a trend! It is a beautiful place – scenic, unpolluted, far away from India and is almost like a dream.
Tuscany is in the Central region of Italy, and the capital of Tuscany is Florence. Florence historically marks itself on the world map very well. It is home to some of the most beautiful pieces of renaissance art and architecture. This place has the Apennine Mountains, Elba’s beaches, Chianti’s olive groves and amazing vineyards! Honesty, you will be seeing varied landscaped in just one vacation.
PLACES TO VISIT IN TUSCANY
If you did take up my idea of “luxury holidays in Tuscany”, I am pretty sure you will need a guide or at least an itinerary to plan this trip. Here are some of the places that I think you must visit –
- Arezzo – once upon a time, this place was the center for almost everything: trade, politics and even cultural events. It is a small town on a hilltop, on the crossroads of four different valleys and very exotic. It had a beautiful medieval center which was destroyed during the World War II. It now has some of the most beautiful churches, monuments and museums. It also holds an annual function called Joust of Saracens, where the locals dress up in medieval costumes and participate in various competitions.
- Montepulciano – it is town in Southern Tuscany raised on a limestone ridge. It is full of churches, monuments, hidden corners and charming squares from the renaissance period. You can get the best panoramic view of the entire place from the – Val d’Orcia and Val d’Chiana. The wine here is very famous and people consider the Vino Nobile as one of the best wines in Italy.
- Val d’Orcia – this is a region that has many picturesque villages, hamlets, castles and cute farmhouses. The village of Pienza is known to be the “Ideal City”. The Radicofani and Montalcino are the two fortresses from the 14th century that give the best view of this region. It has been well-protected by the government like a natural park.
- Elba – once a part of Tuscany’s Archipelago, it is situated off the western coast of Italy. This was in the olden days was the place of exile for Napoleon. If you visit the island, you must go and visit the summer and winter homes of Napoleon. This island has about 150 beaches and many coves. You can stay at the resort Marina di Campo and enjoy the ultra-fine sand grains and the clear, blue waters of Fetovia.
- San Gimignano – the whole name being: San Gimignano delle Belle Torri. It is a small town that dates back to the 8th century and is one of the most famous places in Tuscany. It still has 14 towers out of the 72 towers built in the medieval era. These towers overlook all the vineyards and olive groves in the area. You must visit the places and stroll on the narrow cobbled streets.
- Lucca – it is literally one of the best places in the whole world. It has those big, imposing renaissance period walls and a medieval center enclosing them. There are many beautiful gardens and churches, where you can walk and spend some time soaking in the sun and the beauty! You must visit the Duomo San Martino that has the Tintoretto’s Last Supper and the Tomb of Ilaria del Caretto. The Church of San Michele has a very nice museum that speaks a lot about the history of the town.
- Chianti wine region – this region includes Florence and Siena and all the other small towns that come in between. Saying that, it is one of the most serene places to visit. It spreads from Val d’Elsa in the west to Valdarno in the east. Here you can drive around and see the vineyards, parishes, country homes, olive groves and the green hills. Apart from the sight-seeing, you can also sit down for a nice wine tasting session at Chianti.
- Pisa – a town located along the Arno River, it still holds all the striking pieces of its past. One of them being the leaning tower of Pisa. During the Middle Ages, this place was the center for all commercial activities. Apart from the leaning tower, there are a lot of other attractions in the town.
- Siena – this place was built upon three hills and offers a ride back to the Middle Ages. The people have very well preserved the horse racing tradition, the old historic buildings and the historical center as it houses the best of art and architecture.
- Florence – the city is best described as a colossal outdoor museum owing to the charming buildings that make Florence so beautiful. There are many museum, churches and internationally acclaimed art galleries like the Pitti Palace that are a must visit.
I hope this list helps you figure out your entire trip. Have fun!