29 Dec Seven reasons why you should spend your holiday in Tuscany
Have you ever considered going on holiday in Tuscany, and if not, why in the world not? Just the thought of vibrant sunsets against fantastically picturesque hills, olive groves, the scent of herbs, and the quaint towns with their friendly inhabitants regularly elicits a longing sigh. And I guarantee you: After reading this blog article you will feel the same way. One could easily find 100 reasons for a Tuscan holiday. I’ve picked seven of them that you can use to win the annual battle for holiday planning and make the trip to Italy and Tuscany with a clear conscience. If you don’t feel the need to immediately throw your things in a suitcase and race off to the south – well, then I don’t know what to tell you…
Reason number 1: La Dolce Vita
Oh, that sweet life! At the very least, when you first set foot on Tuscan soil and feel the warm, sun-soaked wind on your skin, you can feel it; the unique Italian way of life. Anyone who goes on holiday in Tuscany and moves among the locals, quickly realises that the clocks tick slower, the people are more relaxed, and the faces are happier. Hustle, stress, and tension have no place here. Instead, there is always time for a friendly word, a greeting, a smile. The pleasure of life and the way Italians fully enjoy moments and things puts me to the test every time. With a newly won balance I again find the desire to discover: Excursions to the Tuscan countryside, fine wine tastings at a wine tour, letting my creative vein run wild in the pottery course – you will tirelessly find new sources of inspiration during your holiday in Tuscany.
Reason number 2: The excellent Italian cuisine
Actually two words under this point would be quite sufficient as an explanation: Italian gelato. So creamy and at the same time so light, there probably exists no other ice cream in the world that tastes like it. But it would be a shame to skip all the other delicacies that “bella Italia’s” kitchen has to offer. In Tuscany, the focus is particularly on regional products such as olives and wine, which are grown, harvested, and sold with the utmost dedication. If you go on a holiday in Tuscany in autumn, you have the opportunity to go on a truffle hunt and taste this exclusive delicacy. Apart from that, in the numerous restaurants and trattorias between Siena, Pisa, and Florence, you will find plenty of excellent dishes – not just pizzas – that thrive on the freshness and flavour of their ingredients, and are simply unique. If food really makes you happy, then you’ll love it here.
Reason # 3: The view is better than any painting
The region of Tuscany in Italy is not only rich in good food, but also in unique landscapes. The hilly, green, wide vistas are so beautiful that it almost hurts to come home again sometimes. In order to at least keep memories, I snap hundreds of pictures on every holiday in Tuscany – even though these, in my opinion, only approximate what actually happens in this moment before my eyes. Olive groves and vineyards, cypress hills, and whole avenues of fragrant pine trees and rosemary sticks combine to form a natural mosaic that an artist could not have arranged better. Indeed, it was not just the benevolence of Mother Nature that has made the landscape so breathtaking and distinctive. The local Tuscan people themselves, who, with great appreciation for their land, shape their surroundings and do their best to preserve nature, make a large contribution.
Reason number 4: Ever bathed in volcanic water?
For a holiday in Tuscany, this should definitely be on your to-do list: a dip in the thermal springs. In addition to many guided thermal facilities, there are also some natural volcanic hot springs that are open to anyone in the great outdoors. The volcano Monte Amiata in southern Maremma feeds the hot springs around it with hot and very healthy water – supposedly to help against rheumatic complaints and skin diseases. Apart from that, even in fullest health it is great fun to sit in the natural tubs; assuming you can ignore the sulfurous smell of rotten eggs… Good natural hotspots for swimming are the Terme di Petriolo, the limestone pools of the Cascate del Mulino, Bagni San Filippo, and Bagno Vignioni.
Reason number 5: Art history was written in Tuscany
Art lovers, unite! Tuscan holidays are perfect for fans of architecture, painting, sculpture, and other fine arts. Even those of you who were less appreciative of the great masters will find yourselves “ooh”-ing and “ahh”-ing over Michelangelo’s David or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The imposing Cathedral of Florence, namely Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiori, dating from 1436, is part of the cultural programme; as well as the “City of Towers”, San Gimignano. Known as the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages”, around 70 spires towered over the rooftops of the city – today there are still 15. The towers were a symbol of the patrician houses in Tuscany. The Uffizi Gallery is also one of the most famous art museums in the world. Works from antiquity to the late Baroque period will make your artist’s heart beat faster here. The holiday in Tuscany becomes an extraordinary journey into the past at a time when the region was celebrated as the intellectual centre of Europe.
Reason number 6: The colourful Tuscan city life
The Tuscans not only love their place, they live it. Honouring and cherishing traditions, they cordially invite each one among them to participate in the diverse events that take place throughout the year. Spectator highlights include the furious Palio horse race in Siena, which takes place in the middle of the city, or the Eroica vintage bike race for men in the wine town of Chianti. During the bike race, some courageous men race along a stretch of 205 or 135 kilometres – on retro wheels, with a twirled beard, training jackets, and knickerbockers like in the good old days. The Calcio Storico Fiorentino is also a big hit: In historic garments, all four historic districts of Florence fight for glory and honour at the municipal football tournament. It’s a bit crazy, but if you have the opportunity to attend one of these events, you should definitely use it!
Reason number 7: Tuscan holidays in Castelfalfi
Right in the triangle between Siena, Pisa, and Florence, in the heart of Tuscany, lies Castelfalfi. Here, holiday dreams come true: A vast countryside as far as the eye can see, its own vineyard and a golf course, fine hotel design, luxurious spa treatments, and gourmet Italian cuisine … the list of amenities is long and exclusive. 1,000 hectares of land offer both space for movement and the opportunity for a little privacy. As a self-confessed spa fan, I was immediately drawn to the spa at this fantastic location, but the yoga class also sounded appealing for relaxation and wellness. If you require more activity than the numerous excursion possibilities, I recommend a round of golf: Beginners learn the first steps in a taster course, while pros can prove their skills on Tuscany’s largest golf course. A perfect end to an eventful day might be one of the chic restaurants or at the bar: Let’s toast to a great Tuscan holiday. Cheers!