These are our most highly recommended vacation accommodations in Tuscany
Many of the valleys and wine zones of Tuscany are fabulously interesting places to visit
Here are just a few of the many things to do for visitors to Tuscany, Italy
Introductions to various aspects of the history, languages and peoples of Tuscany in Italy
Pistoia is the capital of the Province of Pistoia in Tuscany and is located equidistant between Lucca and Florence. Despite its attractions, Pistoia seems to be unjustly neglected by visitors to this part of Tuscany.
Vinci is located in northern of Tuscany near Florence, on the slopes of Montalbano, an area of classic Tuscan hills carpeted in vineyards and olive groves on terraces supported by dry stone walls. Top view, suggests a boat with two masts (where the two trees would be the tower of the fortress of the Guidi and the bell tower of the church of Santa Croce). The historic center of the village of Leonardo is known, for this reason, as the “Castle of the ship.”
“Strade Bianche” means “white roads” and in Tuscany this expression refers to the network of unpaved back roads that run among the vineyards and olive groves of the Tuscan countryside. The name comes from the colour of the dry earth and the limestone gravel and small stones of these roads during the Tuscan summer.
As one would expect from a region with a rich three thousand year history, Tuscany is packed with interesting sights and each visitor should decide ahead of time on which attractions to concentrate. The “art cities” of Florence, Lucca, Sienna and Pisa are packed with artistic and architectural attractions to which only a good guide book (or two or three) can do justice. Do your homework before you leave.
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.
Brolio Castle is a nineteenth century Gothic revival structure built on the foundations of an important fort originating in the 10 C. During Medici times, Brolio Castle was greatly modified with the addition of some of the first anti-cannon bastions constructed in Italy.
Bagno Vignoni (sometimes Bagni Vignoni) is famous for its thermal baths. It was popular with the Romans (and probably the Etruscans) and rose to prominence again during the middle ages because of the proximity of the Via Francigena, the north-south pilgrimage route through the Italian peninsula.
Badia a Coltibuono was founded in 1051 by monks of the Benedictine Vallombrosan Order who also began planting the first vineyards in the Upper Chianti area. In 1810, when Tuscany was under Napoleonic rule, the monks were forced to leave Coltibuono and the monastery was deconsecrated and, after passing through a number of hands, was bought by the Stucchi-Prinetti family.
Villa Corsini a Mezzomonte near Impruneta is one of three villas in Italy bearing the name Corsini. There is the former Villa Corsini “dei Quattro Venti” in Rome, destroyed during the Garibaldian uprising and now incorporated into the grounds of Villa Doria Pamphili.
Cortona has seen its fame increase over the past few years with the publication by Frances Mayes of “Under the Tuscan Sun” and other books about her life in this area. However, Cortona, Italy has always rightly been a popular Tuscan “hill town” destination – Tuscan “hillside town” would better evoke Cortona’s steep, narrow mediaeval streets.