Its fabled rolling hills are studded with vineyards, olive groves and sleepy villages, whilst its famously romantic cities are overflowing with renaissance and medieval treasures.
This combines to make Tuscany one of Italy’s most showstopping regions. Florence is a dream come true for all the culture buffs, of course, but don’t miss the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the medieval piazza of Sienna or the walled town of Lucca either. Yet Tuscany is not all about photo opportunities in front of world-famous sites.
Tuscans are also known for their appreciation of good food and fine wines, and there are plenty of family-owned trattorias where you can happily lose a few hours sampling freshly-made delicious food and a bottle of Chianti.
“In this romantic corner of Italy you’ve not just got the rolling hills, olive groves and Renaissance cities, but the kind of delicious foods and fine wines you’ll simply love. The best way to explore is to hire a car and hop from hotel to villa.”
VIP Concierge Service
•Learn the secrets of Tuscan cuisine at this hands on lesson, plus sommelier guidance and followed by dinner
•View the Chianti countryside from above as you float over it in a hot air balloon, then enjoy a picnic Chianti breakfast
•Enjoy a leisurely cycle through the Tuscany countryside; mostly flat, with the opportunity to taste some local food and wines
•Visit local independent vineyards where you will be treated to a variety and breadth of the fabulous Chianti wines with expert guidance of the most popular Italian wine outside Italy
When to visit
Winter months are traditionally cool and wet and the summer warm and dry and lovely to be out of the cities, with spring and autumn boasting pleasant temperatures and low rainfall. September and October are also the time of the olive and grape harvests and traditional truffle hunting season.
How to get there
British Airways fly to Pisa from London and code share with Meridiana to fly to Florence. Low cost airlines offer alternative timings and direct departures to Florence from Gatwick and London City; and to Pisa from Luton, Stansted, Bristol, East Midlands, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Newcastle and Belfast. Access to Tuscany is equally straightforward from Pisa or Florence airport.
Imagine waking to gaze on your own private Tuscan estate, surrounded by vineyard-cloaked hills dotted with ancient farmhouses? Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, a 5,000-acre country estate founded by Massimo and Chiara Ferragamo, in the UNESCO Val d’Orcia National Park and in the the Brunello di Montalcino wine-producing region, offers just that: a skilful blend of authentically restored 17th- and 18th-century villas and suites, and 21st-century refinements.
This is Tuscany – and on an estate of 4,200sqm it really is, well certainly a good chunk of it. Opened in July 2012, the stunning centre piece is a restored hilltop castle and beautifully manicured grounds. The boutique, all-suite hotel intertwines perfectly old world charm with modern luxury, offering its guests an authentic experience with all the trimmings of luxury.
If you are looking for a Tuscan retreat, you would be hard pushed to find one more perfect than this. The converted 12th Century castle offers its guests historical surroundings, boutique charm and modern luxury facilities. However, the heart of this retreat has to be the Michelin starred restaurant and the spa designed by the exclusive ESPA.
A 7000 acre, family-owned vineyard estate and winery in the Brunello region, some 40 miles from historic Siena, the Castello Banfi has its origins as an ancient Etruscan settlement and as a Romanesque Renaissance castle even merited mention by Dante.
Situated at Porto Ercole this elegant property clings to the rugged hillside above the blue waters that lap its beach club – think more Amalfi coastline than Sardinian beach – with its classic Tuscan styled rooms reflecting the style and beauty of the region of Tuscany.
Languishing in the tranquil Chianti hills overlooking the Ombrone Valley, this 400-acre medieval ‘ village’ has a history dating right back to the 11th century. But nowadays the ancient stone buildings have all been painstakingly restored and this fivestar rural retreat boasts modern must-haves like a luxury spa and a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.
Principe Forte dei Marmi is a new and stylish luxury Boutique Hotel by the sea where design embraces food tastings and innovative Spa treatments, and is part of the Leading Hotels of the world and Fine Hotel Resort. 28 sophisticated rooms, of which 15 suites, furnished by renowned italian designers. Rooms with floor ceiling French windows, parquet flooring, marble bathroom with glassed walls and walk in shower, Suite in an open air concept and The Spatio, one of a kind suite, with a private lodge, bathtub and walk-in shower.
In a small valley close to Cortona in the Tuscan countryside, Relais La Corte dei Papi is an elegant "Vintage house" that has been passed down through generations of the Papi family and now offers ancient traditions and wonderful wellness suites. David Papi and his mother Gabriella have restored the house with love and respect for its heritage, creating an intimate romantic and luxurious hotel rich in history.
This hotel on Viareggio's seafront is noted for being the only hotel in Tuscany with two Michelin stars, but that's not all that makes it stand out from the crowd. It is also one of the world's most historic and elegant hotels. First opening it's doors in the early twenties, it was renamed the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte in 1938 and restored to its former splendour just over 10 years ago. The grandeur of its magnificent facade has made it a star of various prestigious movie productions.
This Tuscan escape benefits from being close to the sea and surrounded by 500 hectares of park, with a complimentary driving range too. L’Andana’s name derives from its long, storybook driveway, lined with cypresses and maritime pines. It leads to a former villa, the summer residence of the Grand Duke Leopold II and his court. L’Andana has two main buildings, separated by a magical Winter Garden, made of wrought-iron and glass, and from the heated outdoor pool there are sublime views of the ancient town of Castiglione della Pescaia.
L’Albereta, set on a hilltop amid manicured vineyards is located in midst of the Northern Italy lake district. A perfect get-away for those seeking the luxury of some time-out in an off the beaten track location. Two restaurants, Leone Felice and Vista Lago Bistro and an extraordinary wine experience and winery tours are a must for wine lovers and foodies.
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