Hollywood films and New York Times bestsellers have created an aura of idyllic romance and unparalleled beauty around Tuscany. Depictions of frazzled North Americans fleeing the rat race to find peace and meaning in the rustic Tuscan way of life did much to promote this Italian region. Yet what is it that continues to promote travel there? It’s the fact that these representations are true.
Enchanting landscapes of gently rolling hills and sprawling vineyards separated by striking Cypress trees aren’t fictitious fantasies of directors, writers or classical painters. Beyond the famous Tuscan countryside, its capital city, Florence and the historic cities of Pisa and Siena, enhance Tuscany’s culture and charm. If you’re not quite ready to uproot and move to Tuscany like they do in the movies, here are our top 5 suggestions of what to do in Tuscany when you’re on a travel schedule. (Be warned, we probably should have called this list our ‘”Top 5 of What Not To Do in Tuscany if You Plan On Ever Leaving.”)
1. Wine Tours
Being one of the world’s most renowned wine regions, chances are when you think of Tuscany, wine comes to mind. With one of the oldest traditions of winemaking than anywhere else, centuries of practice truly have perfected the production of such notable wines as Chianti, Brunello and Montepulciano. Whether you’re an oenophile or it’s your introduction to fine wine, a Tuscan vineyard is like paradise on (rich, fertile) earth. There’s an abundance of wine tastings and tours ranging from a leisurely day trip to a glorious week. It’s not just the wine that’s intoxicating; it’s also Tuscany’s natural beauty.
2. Medieval Castles
While Tuscan wine enhances romance, nothing is more romantic than enjoying a bottle with a fairytale-like castle in the background. Tuscany’s rustic villages and medieval sights, nestled on hillsides and mountains, make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a painting by an Italian master.
3. Fabulous Florence
Tourists and Italians themselves flock to Tuscany’s capital city, Florence, which defines the popular Italian term, la dolce vita (literally meaning, the sweet life.) Florence could be called a living museum, as a stroll through this small city’s ancient streets, amid its beautiful historic architecture and famous artworks, proves. The similarities to a museum end there; the operative word is living– Florence is vibrant and exuberant, with restaurants and cafes serving up delicious food and fashions that are a feast for the eyes.
4. The Leaning Tower
We don’t need to say the name; you know what we’re referring to. The Tuscan city of Pisa’s topsy-turvy tower is a historic icon. It’s easy to plan a day tour there, besides the Leaning Tower of Pisa there are many other must-see attractions, ranging from ancient Roman ruins, to stunning cathedrals, to Keith Haring’s lively modern art mural.
5. Hot Springs
If the wine doesn’t warm you up and get you ready for romance, Tuscany’s hot springs certainly will. Tuscany’s geothermal activity makes it a spa destination for locals and tourists alike. The hot springs are reputed for their healing and soothing properties and there are a mutlitude to choose from, from luxury day spas to thermal baths that are absolutely free.
Since there is so much to see and do in beautiful Tuscany, your vacation could be packed with exciting activities each day. Conversely, this magical region embodies a leisurely way of life that is perfect for a relaxation. Consult a Flight Centre travel agent to learn more about Tuscany and book your dream vacation to Italy.