Tuscany travel guide

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Stay at a winery in the Chianti Classico wine zone of Tuscany

Agriturismo

One of the great pleasures of visiting the beautiful Chianti Classico wine zone of Tuscany is the opportunity to stay at a working winery. Agriturismo “Le Cetinelle”, located in the cool Chianti hills above Greve in Chianti, is just such a property. “Le Cetinelle” produces Chianti Classico wine and extavirgin olive oil, and offers comfortable accommodation for visitors holidaying in the region.

The Rocca (Fortress) of Ceserana in the Garfagnana

Church of Sant'Andrea in the remians of the Rocca of Ceserana

The fortress of Ceserana is located in Garfagnana (Province of Lucca). It is located on a hill on the left bank of the Serchio river. Inside it is a Romanesque church dedicated to Sant’Andrea

Villa Gamberaia

Villa Gamberaia and its gardens

Villa Gamberaia and its italianate garden is one of the most famous of the classic Renaissance Tuscan villas and, indeed, is ranked among the most beautiful villas in Italy.

Villa Gamberaia is also one of the few truly spectacular Tuscan villas still in private hands. Villa Gamberaia is located in the beautiful hills of Settignano within easy reach of central Florence by car or bus. The gardens of the villa are open to the public for a small entry fee, and the gardens can be rented for events such as weddings and fashion shows. It is also possible to rent the villa itself.

Vicchiomaggio

The courtyard of Castello di Vicchiomaggio

The Castle of Vicchiomaggio is in fact a splendid Renaissance villa incorporating the remains of a very early, probably Lombard, castle. It is also a producer of some of the best Chianti Classico wines – indeed, some of the best wines in Italy.

Tuscan Saffron

Zafferano 7

Saffron is grown in small quantities but high quality in Italy where it is used in a number of regional dishes, most famously Risotto alla Milanese. The prized “Aquila” saffron (zafferano dell’Aquila) is characterised by elevated safranal and crocin content, shape, unusually pungent aroma and intense colour.

Fiesole

Fiesole

Fiesole is actually an older settlement than Florence but was long ago overtaken by its former rival in the Val d’Arno below. For centuries Fiesole has been the favoured retreat of Florentines during the hot summer months and it still provides cool summer air and magnificent views.

Castellina in Chianti

Castellina aerial

Castellina in Chianti is situated on a ridge along the Chiantigiana highway between Florence and Siena, at the turn-off for Poggibonsi. Castellina has an attractive old town centre marred by a grotesque formation of industrial silos and an abandoned warehouse

Luxury Tuscan villa to rent

luxury hotel in Tuscany

The holiday of a lifetime – a couple of weeks relaxing in a luxury Tuscany villa! Throughout the province of Tuscany and especially near the art cities of Florence and Sienna, patrician villas are to be found in beautiful situations, usually vine-covered hillsides with spectacular panoramic views.

The “Agriturismo Experience”

Agriturismo in Tuscany

The term “agriturismo” has a legal meaning in Tuscany even though it is sometimes used loosely to refer to any rural holiday accommodation. An agritourism is a working farm – in Tuscany invariably a winery and/or producer of olive oil – that offers accommodation to tourists in the form of whole houses, apartments or rooms.

Panzano in Chianti

Panzano in Chianti

Panzano is located at the highest point and almost exactly midway along thescenic Via Chiantigiana road from Florence to Siena. Parts of the original castle remain, incorporated into the church and also as an independent tower.