Whether it's the wine, the Italian food, the rolling hillsides orthe famous sites that most attract tourists to Tuscany, a few days inthe center of Italy and one may never want to leave.
Most people know Tuscany, Italy, for Michelangelo's sculpture ofDavid in Florence or the leaning Tower of Pisa. Many saw the movie,"Under the Tuscan Sun". But step into a Tuscan hill town and much moreawaits: maybe a wine festival, a scenic stroll down an old stonestreet, the best gelato or espresso ever tasted, or a pizza unlike oneyou've ever had before.
How to Get There
Tuscany is best seen by rentalcar or tourist bus during an Italy vacation. Travelers typically flyinto Rome,Florence, Milanor Venice,then add a side trip to Tuscany. A day or two will do; but to trulyexplore the area and the food and wine produced here, plan for severaldays' stay.
When to Go
May, June, September and October arethe most popular times of year to visit. Airfare and hotel prices areoften cheaper in April and November, and travelers will have fewercrowds to deal with. In August, a local holiday month, bigger citieswill be quiet but beach cities will be jammed.
Many travelers dream of the idea of a Tuscany holiday. Whilevilla and farmhouse stays are possible year-round, prices may be higherfor airfare and accommodations.
Where to Stay
Chianti grapes and olive treescover the hillsides, from Florence in the north to Siena to the south.Along the way, luxury villas, farmhouses (agriturismo), bed andbreakfasts, hotels and apartments greet travelers either desiring toindulge or to stay for cheap. With a farmhouse stay, it's oftenpossible to taste the olive oil or wine grown on site.
In Florence (Firenze), don't missMichelangelo's David at Accademia, and famous Italian paintings in theUffizi Gallery. Take a day trip to see the famous leaning Tower of Pisaand the quaint town of Lucca nearby. Siena, San Gimignano and Assisiare more popular stops along the scenic and winding roads of Tuscany.
Bring your appetite and indulge in:gelato, espresso, olive oil, wine as affordable as soda, Florentinesteak or a shot of limoncello. Don't forget about the endless types ofpasta. In Italy, the pasta course comes first, followed by a meatcourse. Did you know: The Olive Garden restaurant chain in the UnitedStates runs a culinary institute in Tuscany. There, many of its chefslearn the secrets of authentic Italian cooking. Italians proudlyproduce many kinds of wine in Tuscany, from chianti, to Sangiovese,Super Tuscan and many bottles from Montepulciano.
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