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
The Medicean Villa of Artimino, also called “La Ferdinanda” or “the Villa of the hundred chimneys”, is one of the most famous of the Medicean villas of Tuscany, in no small part because of the large number of chimneys on its roof. Villa Artimino is located on a hilltop adjacent to the small medieaval village of Artimino, a dependency of the municipality of Carmignano in the Province of Prato.
The Medicean Villa of Poggio a Caiano, also known as Villa Ambra, is located in the Province of Prato, in the town of the same name. The villa is a splendid example of the villas built by Lorenzo de’ Medici “il Magnifico” and today it contains two museums, the historic apartments on the ground and first floors, and the Museum of Still Life on the second floor.
Enthusiasts for the biographies, memoirs and letters of the Anglo-American community in Florence from the 1930’s onwards, will be familiar with Villa dell’Ombrellino as home first to Alice Keppel and then to her daughter, Violet Trefusis, both of them scandalous by the standards of the time.
Montebenichi is located in the municipality of Bucine in the Province of Arezzo of Tuscany. The village is situated on a hilltop between the Chianti Aretino and the Chianti Senesi, dominating the Valdambra, right on the border with the municipalities of Gaiole in Chianti and Castelnuovo Berardenga. The views from the village are truly splendid, sweeping across the Crete Senesi to Monte Amiata in the south, Cortona in the east and Sienna and beyond in the west.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Italy is famous for its formal gardens. This style of gardening, rediscovered in Tuscany during the Renaissance and based on classical Roman precepts, had great influence on garden design in England and especially in France. Early formal English gardens were influenced by the fountains, cascades and use of statuary that are essential elements of Italian Renaissance gardens.
Lamole is a small village high up in the Chianti hills, accessed from a turnoff between Greve and Panzano. While Lamole is a charming little place in itself, the main reason for a visit is the beautiful drive up, passing by the famous renaissance Villa Vignamaggio and the Castello di Lamole along a road lined by cypresses and offering spectacular views.
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.
Hotel Villa Le Barone is a four star villa hotel located in the Chianti countryside above Panzano in Chianti, halfway between Florence and Sienna, in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Tuscany. Villa Le Barone offers air-conditioned, luxury rooms and suites, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a restaurant with indoor and outdoor terrace dining as well as very extensive beautiful grounds and gardens.
Uzzano Castle is a fine Renaissance villa located on the outskirts of Greve in Chianti. Traces of the ancient castle may be discerned in the remains of a watch tower but the predominant form of the structure is now a large 17 C villa with an excellent italianate garden restored in the 18 C.
The classic Tuscan villa known as Villa La Foce is situated among the hills that overlook the Val d’Orcia, a beautiful valley in Southern Tuscany. The villa was built in the late 15 C as a hospice for pilgrims and merchants travelling from Rome along the Via Francigena to points north. In 1924, it was occupied by Count Antonio Origo and his English wife, the famous author Iris Origo, and the villa became a prosperous farming centre despite the difficulties of working the clay soil of the Crete Senesi.
The Castle of Verrazzano retains the designation “castello” (castle) but is in fact a Renaissance villa built around a mediaeval tower. The castle is famous as the seat of the family of Giovanni da Verrazzano, the navigator who discovered New York harbour.
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 Siena, patrician villas are to be found in beautiful situations, usually vine-covered hillsides with spectacular panoramic views.
Villa Vignamaggio is located on the road to Lamole from Greve andPanzano. As it stands today, it is a splendid Renaissance villa rebuilt during the 15 C and the 16 C by the Gherardi family and showing a clear influence of the architecture of Brunelleschi.
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.